Doren L410 over Congo on Aug 23rd 2014, aircraft found crashed and burned out

Last Update: April 19, 2020 / 20:11:04 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 23, 2014

Classification
Accident

Aircraft Registration
9Q-CXB

Aircraft Type
Let L-410 Turbolet

ICAO Type Designator
L410

A Doren Air Congo Let L-410, registration 9Q-CXB performing a flight from Bukavu to Pangi (Democratic Republic Congo) with 2 passengers, 2 crew and 1500kg of cargo, had normally departed from Bukavu's Kavumu Airport at 13:42L (11:42Z) and left the frequency of Kavumu about 10 minutes after departure. There was no further radio transmission and the aircraft did not arrive in Pangi, estimated to land about one hour after departure (approximate flying distance 140nm), nor on any airport reachable. A search for the aircraft found the aircraft crashed and burned out in the southern vicinity of Kahuzi-Biega Park on Aug 25th, about 2-3nm east of the village of Kalika in the neighbourhood of Mulume Munene (approximate coordinates of crash site: S2.5 E28.6).

Doren Air Congo are known to operate three L-410s, actively flying are 9Q-CZA and 9Q-CQZ (both 29 years in service), in storage is 9L-LBL (built 1981).

The Accident Investigation Board of the Democratic Republic of Congo said, that neither 9Q-CZA nor 9Q-CQZ was involved in the crash, but initially did not identify the aircraft, subsequently identified the aircraft involved as 9Q-CXB (built 1982, MSN 820925) confirming the aircraft has been located on Monday (Aug 25th).

The Bureau Permanent d’Enquêtes d’Accidents et Incidents d’Aviation (BPEA) released their final report in French dated Dec 5th 2014 (Editorial note: to serve the purpose of global prevention of the repeat of causes leading to an occurrence an additional timely release of all occurrence reports in the only world spanning aviation language English would be necessary, a French only release does not achieve this purpose as set by ICAO annex 13 and just forces many aviators to waste much more time and effort each in trying to understand the circumstances leading to the occurrence. Aviators operating internationally are required to read/speak English besides their local language, investigators need to be able to read/write/speak English to communicate with their counterparts all around the globe).

The report concludes the probable cause of the crash was:

Although the data were lost from the flight data recorder due to thermal influence onto the tape following the fire the probable cause of this accident could be established as: the loss of an engine in very high and dangerous terrain.

The BPEA reported the aircraft had departed Bukavu on Saturday Aug 23rd 2014 normally and climbed to FL105 as planned. The aircraft left the frequency of Bukavu already at FL105. Estimated flight time was about one hour, Pangi Airport informed Bukavu about one hour later that the aircraft had not arrived in Pangi. A search for the aircraft was initiated but was unsuccessful for 3 days. On Tuesday a villager, who had seen the aircraft in distress, pointed the search teams into the direction the aircraft had flown and where the villager had later seen smoke rising. The search team followed the direction and found the aircraft crashed at Irunga Hill within the forests of Kahuzi Biega National Park, still in flames and completely burned out having contacted a number of trees and the side of Irunga Hill. The charred bodies of the 4 occupants were taken to Bukavu.

The captain of the flight (55, ATPL, about 15,000 hours total, about 12,000 hours on type) was assisted by a first officer (48, CPL, 4,500 hours total, 4,000 hours on type).

The flight data recorder was sent to the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) for analysis. The MAK found the tapes of the recorders were destroyed and had lost all data due to thermal influence as result of post accident fires.

On the day of the accident winds were calm and visibility was good, weather was no contributing factor.

The BPEA analysed that the Eastern Congo is a mountaineous region deemed dangerous for less efficient aircraft like the L410. Studies conducted by DR Congo's Civil Aviation Authority determined that this type of aircraft should not be used in Eastern Congo unless a significant payload restriction is applied.

The crew members were properly qualified, the operator however did not enforce and respect operating procedures (e.g. 1310kg payload maximum with 3 crew). Before departure of the flight there was no indication of any issue, airports, weather, aircraft systems, maintenance, navigation aids, communication facilities etc. did not play a role in the accident. There was no indication of any issue with Mass and Balance.

Immediately prior to the accident there was a loss of performance of the aircraft.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 23, 2014

Classification
Accident

Aircraft Registration
9Q-CXB

Aircraft Type
Let L-410 Turbolet

ICAO Type Designator
L410

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