Pilot Captain Mario Maisiba once served in the military

Captain Mario Maisiba Magonga.
Family and friends of the pilot who died when a chopper linked to DP William Ruto crashed in Turkana have described him as humble and hardworking.

Captain Mario Maisiba Magonga died on Sunday night when the chopper, Bell 505 registration 5YKDL, crashed as it left Lake Turkana Central Island.

Mario, who has left behind his wife Joy and three children is a former military pilot. He hailed from Nyamataro, Kitutu Chache South Constituency, Kisii.

His mother, Melania Magonga, said Mario's his death is a big blow to her family.

The sad news was broken to the family from Mario's sister Gladys after she was notified by the pilot's wife.

"It is a big loss to the family. He was our bread winner. How I wish God saved his life,’’ said Melania.

Mario had bought land for the family and was in the processing of refurbishing his mother's house.

Gladys said:  "I tried keeping the sad news from my mother because of her health condition."

Mario who was born in 1973 is cousin to area MP Richard Onyonka and nephew to late Dr Zachary Onyonka and Prof Tumbo Oeri.

Mario started his career in the military before quitting 12 years ago.

He joined Kenya Army cadet training school in 1995 before graduating as a second lieutenant. He later became first lieutenant and a helicopter gunship pilot with 50 Air Calvary Embakasi.

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Captain Mario Maisiba MagongaChopper crashDP Ruto chopper crash