Mombasa Air Safari L410 at Ngerenge on Aug 22nd 2012, failed to climb out

Last Update: April 28, 2015 / 14:17:42 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 22, 2012


Mombasa, Kenya

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Let L-410 Turbolet

ICAO Type Designator

A Mombasa Air Safari Let L-410, registration 5Y-UVP performing a safari flight from Ngerenge to Mombasa (Kenya) with 11 passengers and 2 crew, failed to climb out on takeoff from Ngerenge Airstrip in the Masai Mara National Park causing the aircraft to impact ground at about 12:17L (09:17Z). The aircraft was destroyed, both pilots and two passengers died, 3 passengers were flown to hospitals in Nairobi (Kenya) in critical condition, the remaining 6 passengers received injuries of varying degree.

The airstrip manager reported the Let L-410 5Y-UV7 failed to climb out due to "wrong wind direction", a small fire was quickly put out by hotel personnel and tourists and the occupants were recovered from the wreckage. The injured are being treated by the Flying Doctors arriving from Nairobi. The aircraft had arrived from Mombasa via Amboseli National Park and had dropped off 12 passengers.

The Flying Doctor Service reported 4 people had perished when the Flying Doctors reached the airstrip, 3 passengers were flown to Nairobi in critical condition, the remaining 6 passengers are being taken to Nairobi on a second ambulance aircraft. 5 Germans, 4 Americans and 2 Czech were on board of the aircraft. 2 Germans and the 2 Kenyan crew died in the accident.

Kenya Wildlife Service reported the aircraft had just taken off when it lost height and impacted ground.

Local police reported four occupants died on the spot, the injured have all been taken to Nairobi for treatment.

In November 2012 the German BFU reported in their August bulletin, that after takeoff the aircraft rolled around its longitudinal axis and crashed.

A passenger (witness), who had just disembarked 5Y-UVP at Ngerenge, told The Aviation Herald on Dec 12th 2012, that he was getting organised for his onward travel when the airport manager raised the alert. The aircraft had departed towards the west (approx heading 275 degrees), the witness however has no own observations of the actual departure and took notice only after the alert was raised. The aircraft had impacted trees at the west end of the strip and came to rest about 300 meters southwest of the end of the strip. After the alert everybody, including the witness, rushed to their jeeps and sped to the crash site in order to recover the survivors. There were no tracks on the ground leading towards the crash site suggesting that the aircraft had hit ground and slid towards its final position, the witness therefore believes the aircraft came to rest right at that point of impact. The captain was found trapped into the cockpit, the first officer had been thrown out of the cockpit. The front of the aircraft was covered with fuel and there were wild life issues which made the recovery of the captain urgent but difficult, he was recovered later the day. The survivors amongst the passengers were recovered, one of the survivors seated at the right hand side just aft of the wing said one of the engines had stopped prior to hitting the trees, the witness seems to recall the survivor also recalled the propeller had stopped. The witness recalls that the left hand engine was missing from the left hand side, the right hand engine came to rest next to the aircraft. The witness stated, that the aircraft had suffered a problem with one of the compasses at takeoff from Ukunda Airstrip, the aircraft was such flown to Mombasa Moi Airport, where it spent about an hour until a circuit breaker accessible only from the outside of the aircraft had been reset, then the aircraft set off for Amboseli and Ngerenge.

Mombasa Air Safari is known to recently operate three Let-410s, 5Y-UVP, 5Y-NIK and 5Y-BSM.

Ngerende Airstrip features a dirt runway of 3900 feet/1190 meters length in approximate east/west direction, approximate position S1.084 E35.186.

No weather data are available.

On Apr 28th 2015 Kenya's Ministry of Transport released a report marked as "preliminary report" but carrying all indications of a final report concluding the probable causes of the accident were:

- LH engine was most probably not developing power at the time of impact

- LH engine propeller was most probably in feather at the time of impact

- Both CVR and FDR were unserviceable at the time of the accident

- AAID was unable to determine origin of contaminant found in LH engine FCU

- Sufficient oversight was not exercised over the Operator

- High turnover of the Operator’s staff.

Kenya's AAID reported the captain (59, ATPL, about 9800 hours total) had 7,480 flying hours on type and was assisted by a first officer (24, CPL) with 312 hours on type. The aircraft had landed at Ngerende to drop off 6 of the 17 passengers on board, no passenger or cargo was picked up at Ngerende, no refueling took place at the unmanned airstrip featuring a murram (loose surface) runway 10/28 of 1250 meters length and a windsock.

Due to prevailing winds runway 28 was in use, the aircraft lined up runway 28 and commenced takeoff. Ground staff reported that departure roll as well as rotation were uneventful, during the initial climb the aircraft veered sharply to the left and disappeared behind terrain, shortly followed by a loud bang and dust rising into the air. Staff at the airport and the hotels rushed to the accident scene about 310 meters past the end of runway 28 at position S1.084189 E35.1781127, all wreckage was located within a radius of 10-20 meters, and reached the wreckage 7 minutes after the accident. They found the cockpit and forward passenger cabin completely destroyed with both flight crew and the passengers in the front row perished, the aft passenger cabin remained largely intact with seats and seatbelts remaining intact, the 6 passengers seated in this area survived and were taken to Nairobi with minor injuries. The report did not mention where the 3 passengers receiving serious injuries had been seated, but confirmed the two flight crew and two passengers died in the accident, 3 passengers received serious and 6 received minor injuries.

The AAID reported the aircraft was equipped with a flight data and cockpit voice recorder, both devices were inoperative however during the accident flight.

The AAID analysed that the fuel control unit (FCU) of the left hand engine showed indications of a contamination, the analysis of the contaminant to its origin and composition was inconclusive. According to strip analysis the left hand propeller most likely was in feathered position at impact rotating at low speed.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 22, 2012


Mombasa, Kenya

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Let L-410 Turbolet

ICAO Type Designator

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