The crew of the Fly Sax airplane that crashed into the Aberdare Ranges on Tuesday were unfamiliar with the Kitale-Jomo Kenyatta Airport flight path and had raised concerns about their suitability for the trip to some of their peers, investigations reveal.
This, according to preliminary investigations from sources that the Sunday Standard spoke to, might have contributed to the fatal crash.
The ongoing investigations have also revealed that the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) a gadget crucial in search and rescue missions after accidents did not deploy, thus making the search and rescue missions take longer than intended.
An ELT is a piece of equipment that broadcasts distinctive signals on designated frequencies and, depending on application, may be automatically activated on impact or be manually activated.
An automatic fixed ELT, like the one on the crashed plane is permanently attached to the aircraft and deploys immediately on impact. Multiple sources have confirmed that at the time of impact, the Cessna C208 ELT did not deploy.
An on-board recorder picked out the conversations between the pilots and the control tower leading to the crash. The crew suddenly encountered thick clouds that clouded their visibility.
Moments later, gasps of surprise and shock can be heard as the rocky Aberdare Ranges rose from beyond the clouds. The plane flew into the rocks at 300 kilometres per hour, disintegrating on impact.
Sources that we spoke to say that the faulty ELT ought to have been picked out during routine maintenance of the plane. Investigators also say there was no change in destination for the plane and that instructions given by the control tower for the plane to fly from Kitale Airstrip to JKIA were proper.
“The only thing that changed mid-flight was the direction of the wind,” a source close to the investigation said.
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