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Last updated: 28 October 2021
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 19 July 2003
Time:ca 18:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II
Operator:Ryan Blake Air Charter
Registration: ZS-OYI
MSN: TC-349
First flight: 1980
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-3UW-303G
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mount Kenya (   Kenya)
Crash site elevation: 4877 m (16001 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Nairobi-Wilson Airport (WIL/HKNW), Kenya
Destination airport:Samburu Airport (UAS/HKSB), Kenya
Narrative:
The Swearingen Metro plane, carrying 12 American tourists and two South African crew members, departed Nairobi-Wilson Airport at 15:58 for a flight to the Samburu national park. The flight plan was to allow the crew to fly round Mount Kenya before landing at a private airstrip in the game park.
The airplane crashed into the eastern slope of Point Lenana (16,450 feet), which is the third highest peak of Mount Kenya. The crash site was located approx. 450 feet below the snow-capped top. Debris scattered into the adjacent valleys of the peak, and then burnt throughout the night.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: The pilots’ failure to maintain horizontal and vertical situational awareness of the aircraft’s proximity to the surrounding terrain, resulting in inadequate clearance, and controlled flight into terrain.
Contributing factors:
- Unfamiliarity with the airspace and the route in particular and the existence of high ground on the planned flight route.
- Inadequate flight planning by the pilots and distraction of their attention when they were instructed to contact Nanyuki.
- Poor pilot briefing by the Wilson ATC briefing office.
- Poor communication between the air traffic control units.
- Failure of the radar controller to advise the pilot of termination of radar service.
- Lack of a radar system minimum safe altitude warning to the radar controller
- Poor civil military coordination during transit through the military airspace.

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» SABC
» AP
» Sunday Nation


Photos

photo of Swearingen-SA226-TC-Metro-II-ZS-OYI
accident date: 19-07-2003
type: Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II
registration: ZS-OYI
 

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Nairobi-Wilson Airport to Samburu Airport as the crow flies is 220 km (138 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Metro

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  • 76th loss
  • 25th fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
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 Kenya
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