Govt launches inquiry into police chopper crashes

October 22, 2016 2:50 pm
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The Sh680 million aircraft was badly damaged after the pilot tried to make a hard landing on a field belonging to the National Youth Service when it went down headfirst before landing on its back/FILE
The Sh680 million aircraft was badly damaged after the pilot tried to make a hard landing on a field belonging to the National Youth Service when it went down headfirst before landing on its back/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year.

In a notice in the Kenya Gazette, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia appointed Director and Chief Investigator of Aircraft Accidents-Kenya Martyn Lunani, to spearhead the probe that left six police officers injured after the helicopters they were in crashed shortly after taking off.

Overview
  • In a notice in the Kenya Gazette, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia appointed Director and Chief Investigator of Aircraft Accidents-Kenya Martyn Lunani, to spearhead the probe that left six police officers injured after the helicopters they were in crashed shortly after taking off.
  • Other members include Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mutai, Retired Captain Wilfred Ngumo, Humprey Bulimu and Kennedy Ogol.
  • Macharia says the team is required to establish the circumstances both antecedent and proximate, surrounding the accidents and the contributory and mitigating factors that occurred both before and after the accidents.

Other members include Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mutai, Retired Captain Wilfred Ngumo, Humprey Bulimu and Kennedy Ogol.

Macharia says the team is required to establish the circumstances both antecedent and proximate, surrounding the accidents and the contributory and mitigating factors that occurred both before and after the accidents.

Other terms of reference include establishing the extent of damage in terms of cost and loss of the two helicopters and the extent of compliance with technical as well as operational standards and procedures.

The team which has three months to report on the extent of injury to crew or any other persons on board or on the ground and any other factors deemed relevant to mitigate similar accidents in future.

On August 23, two police officers including an instructor on a flight-training mission were injured after a Kenya Police Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger they were in crashed at Wilson Airport shortly after taken off.

Meanwhile four police officers on routine patrols in the city were seriously injured after the five-month old Agusta AW 139 helicopter they in dramatically dropped from the sky after developing technical problem while overflying Mathare slums.

The Sh680 million aircraft was badly damaged after the pilot tried to make a hard landing on a field belonging to the National Youth Service when it went down headfirst before landing on its back.

The National Police Service operates 14 aircraft, which are at the disposal of both Administration Police and Kenya Police Services. Six of the aircraft are fixed wing while eight are helicopters.

The government recently refurbished three of the police Mi-17 Russian made helicopters and bought a new Bell helicopter to assist in the easy and quick mobilisation of police officers to volatile areas.

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