South Sudan Supreme L410 at Pieri on Mar 2nd 2021, crashed on emergency return after both engines failed
Last Update: March 5, 2021 / 16:33:09 GMT/Zulu time
The owner of South Sudan Supreme Airlines (former South Supreme Airlines) confirmed they had an aircraft out which has not returned to the home base Juba so far.
Jonglei State's Governor confirmed the aircraft with tail number HK-4274 crashed at Pieri Airstrip in Jonglei State of South Sudan at 17:05L (see letter below).
A South Sudan Opposition Leader said, the aircraft with the tail number HK-4274 crashed shortly after takeoff and killed all on board (editorial note: apart from the fact, that the registration would point to a Colombian Aircraft absolutely nothing can be found with the tail number).
Juba Airport confirmed the aircraft registration HK-4274 had departed for Pieri earlier the day but had not returned to Juba. The aircraft belongs to South Sudan Supreme Airline and was a very new acquisition of the airline, hence had not been re-registered yet. On Mar 3rd 2021 the airport confirmed the aircraft in question was a Let L-410.
On Mar 4th 2021 South Sudan's Civil Aviation Authority reported they have dispatched a team of investigators on site. Preliminary investigation results suggest that the aircraft was climbing out of Pieri when one of the engines (M601E) failed prompting the crew to return to Pieri. While enroute back to Pieri the other engine failed, too, causing the forced landing and accident.
South Sudan Supreme Airlines is known to operate Antonov AN-26s and Let L-410s. Pieri Airstrip features an unpaved runway and is capable of accomodating both AN26s and L410s.
On Mar 3rd 2021 The Aviation Herald received information, that the accident aircraft was a Let L-410UVP with a fake registration, the previous Burundi fake registration of which had been flagged. Before the Burundi fake registration the airline had used the aircraft since 2019 also with the fake Gabonese registration TR-KSS - the aircraft had been photographed with this registration in Juba on Jan 1st 2019. TR-KSS had not been photographed prior to 2019 however. According to Russian dabases the airline had acquired a L410 tail number 5Y-DAD (MSN 902436) by the end of 2014, which subsequently was photographed several times until late 2017, however, no photographs of 5Y-DAD surfaced after 2017 (the paint scheme of 5Y-DAD entirely matched TR-KSS except for the tail number. It appears the paint scheme of the wreckage also matches the paint scheme on past photos of TR-KSS and 5Y-DAD).
On Mar 4th 2021 it became known that South Sudan's president has grounded South Sudan Supreme Airlines with immediate effect on Mar 2nd 2021 pending a safety audit of the operator.
On Mar 4th 2021 The Aviation Herald received a photo of a South Supreme Airlines Airframe in old paint scheme with the tail number 5Y-DAD sitting rotting in Nairobi on December 8th 2020 and obviously unable to resume flying any time soon. There is no information on MSN or other details of this airframe though.
On Mar 4th 2021 the aircraft manufacturer Let reported, that they also do not know which aircraft actually crashed in Pieri, no information has yet been received from South Sudan's Aircraft Accident Investigation Authority. According to their records:
- A L410 formerly owned by South Supreme Airlines (before their name change to South Sudan Supreme Airlines) with the tail number 5Y-SSA (MSN 902525) subsequently changed hands to a new operator (Editorial note: according to local Juba sources that airframe had been seen operating in Juba up to year 2017 and has not been seen later on). Let stated that the operators before South Supreme Airlines had been: Business Aviation Center, Universal Avia and Rivne (editorial note: this is in line with Russian databases who lost track of the airframe, then tail number ST-RAS, in 2009 however).
- A L410 with the tailnumber 5Y-DAD (MSN 902436) was registered with Let to be operated by Attico, the former operator had been Njurba. Let has no knowledge of any airframe 5Y-DAD associated with South Supreme Airlines (Editorial note: databases differ considerably from this information, neither of the databases identifies Attico or Njurba during the history of MSN 902436).
- The operator South Sudan Supreme Airlines is not known to Let, only the company under its former name South Suprseme Airlines.
On Mar 5th 2021 South Sudan's CAA reported the aircraft involved with the tailnumber HK-4274 was MSN 902525 (former 5Y-SSA).
According to a document released by Kenyan Aircraft Registry the L410 tail number 5Y-SSA (MSN 902525) had been deleted from the Kenyan aircraft register on Nov 23rd 2017 due to a hand over to Gabon (the AVH is still waiting for reply from Gabon's Aircraft Registry - it is presumed the aircraft became TR-KSS, was flagged in 2020, changed to a Burundi registration, was flagged again in late 2020 or early 2021 and was repainted HK-4274).
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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