East African Express E120 at Berdale on May 4th 2020, aircraft shot down by Ethiopian troops

Last Update: May 9, 2020 / 17:49:53 GMT/Zulu time

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 4, 2020

Classification
Crash

Destination
Berdale, Somalia

Aircraft Registration
5Y-AXO

ICAO Type Designator
E120

An East African Express Airways Embraer EMB-120, registration 5Y-AXO performing a charter freight flight from Baidoa to Berdale (Somalia) with 4 passengers, 2 crew and a load of medical supplies, was on approach to Berdale at about 2200 feet MSL about 3 minutes prior to landing and about 3nm before the airport at approximately 15:45L (12:45Z), when the aircraft was hit by an object similiar to a rocket propelled grenade, lost height, impacted ground and burst into flames. All occupants perished, the aircraft was destroyed.

The Transport Minister of Southwest Region of Somalia reported there were no survivors.

Ethiopian troops operating and guarding the airport in the civil war stricken area secured the crash site.

The airline reported the aircraft was shot down 5km from the airport in Bardale. The aircraft had flown from Mogadishu via an intermediate stop in Baidoa to Berdale (Baardale).

Kenyan Security Forces reported the aircraft was downed by a rocket propelled grenade launched from the area of Berdale. Al Shabab rebel forces can not be ruled out.

An Ethiopian journalist on site claims without providing evidence, the rocket propelled grenade was launched by Ethiopian troops.

Somalia's President promised his Kenyan counterpart that Somalia is going to conduct a thorough investigation into the crash of the Kenyan Aircraft.

Somalia's officials report the aircraft was shot down. A projectile fired from the ground hit the aircraft. Berdale Airport is a base for Ethiopian Military under the multinational African Union Mission Somalia (AMISOM) combating al Qaeda linked Al Shabab extremist forces.

AMISOM, with main contributors of military personal by Kenya and Ethiopia, welcomed the decision by the leaders of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia to jointly investigate the accident.

On May 9th 2020 a prelimnary report filed by AMISOM stated Ethiopian troops at Berdale admitted they shot down the aircraft on mistaken identity. The troops at Berdale Airfield did not know abuot the arrival of the aircraft and judged the aircraft's unusual flight path at low altitude to be a potential suicide mission seeking a target to attack and shot the aircraft down. AMISOM further reports the Ethiopian troops at Berdale were not part of AMISOM but Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), which raises legal questions on their presence in Somalia.

According to a local source the Berdale Airfield is located at coordinates N3.2170 E43.1767 elevation about 1320 feet MSL about 53km/28nm westnorthwest of Baidoa, the crash site is at coordinates N3.2403 E43.2114.

On May 8th 2020 Somalia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) reported the crash site at coordinates N3.2120 E43.2084 and confirmed Berdale Airfield at coordinates N3.2170 E43.1767.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 4, 2020

Classification
Crash

Destination
Berdale, Somalia

Aircraft Registration
5Y-AXO

ICAO Type Designator
E120

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
Article source

You can read 2 more free articles without a subscription.

Subscribe now and continue reading without any limits!

Are you a subscriber? Login
Subscribe

Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.

Free newsletter

Want to know more and stay ahead? Get our free weekly newsletter and join 5471 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and confirm that you've read our privacy policy.

Send tip

Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.

Newest articles

Subscribe today

Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.

Pick your plan and subscribe

Partner

Blockaviation logo

A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.

Virtual Speech logo

ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.

Get updates

Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 5471 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and that you've read our privacy policy.

AeroInside Blog
Popular aircraft
Airbus A320
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlines
American Airlines
United
Delta
Air Canada
Lufthansa
British Airways