2011 United Nations Bombardier CRJ-100 crash

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2011 United Nations Bombardier CRJ-100 crash
Brit Air CRJ-100ER F-GRJB, sister to F-GRJA, the accident aircraft which was later re-registered 4L-GAE
Accident summary
Date 4 April 2011
Summary Under investigation
Site N'djili Airport, Democratic Republic of the Congo
4°19′S 15°18′E / 4.317°S 15.300°E / -4.317; 15.300Coordinates: 4°19′S 15°18′E / 4.317°S 15.300°E / -4.317; 15.300
Passengers 29
Crew 4
Injuries (non-fatal) 1 (serious)
Fatalities 32
Survivors 1
Aircraft type Bombardier CRJ-100ER
Operator Georgian Airways for the United Nations[1]
Registration 4L-GAE
Flight origin Goma International Airport, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Stopover Bangoka International Airport, Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Destination N'djili, Democratic Republic of the Congo

On 4 April 2011, a Georgian Airways Bombardier CRJ-100ER crashed while landing at N'djili Airport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The aircraft broke up when it hit the runway at the airport as it attempted to land.[2][3] There were 32 fatalities, with the sole survivor a Congolese journalist.[2][4]

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft was a Bombardier CRJ-100ER, registered 4L-GAE,[3] c/n 7070. The aircraft was delivered in 1996 to French airline Brit Air, as F-GRJA. It was sold to Georgian Airways in September 2007.[5] Leased from Georgian Airways,[3] it was operated by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO)[2] using the callsign UN-834.

Accident[edit]

The aircraft crashed upon landing on N'djili Airport's Runway 24,[6] shortly before 14:00 local time (13:00 UTC).[7] The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Goma to Ndjili via Kisangani.[8] Heavy rain was falling at the time.[9] The METAR in force at the time showed thunder showers and rain.[6][Note A] According to a United Nations official, the plane "landed heavily, broke into two and caught fire".[9] An eyewitness suggested windshear as a cause.[6] The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy indicated that the poor weather was a key element in the cause of the crash.[10] Of the four Georgian crew and 29 passengers, there was only one survivor,[2] Francis Mwamba, a Congolese journalist.[11] The survivor was seriously injured.[6] The aircraft manifest listed 20 UN workers.[2] The passengers included UN peacekeepers and officials, humanitarian workers and electoral assistants.[9] Five non-UN passengers were staff from non-governmental organisations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or from other international organisations.[12]

The UN Security Council and the United States have offered their condolences for the accident.[13][14][15] UN flights are frequent in Congo, more than hundreds a week, as they are one of the best available means of transportation in the country; the flying route is one of the most used in the country.[9]

Investigation[edit]

MONUSCO set up a task force, which opened an investigation into the accident.[12]

DRC IAAI investigation found that "The most probable cause of the accident was the aircraft's encounter with a severe Microburst like weather phenomenon at a very low altitude during the process of Go Around. The severe vertical gust/downdraft caused a significant and sudden pitch change to the aircraft which resulted in a considerable loss of height. Being at very low altitude, recovery from such a disturbance was not possible."

Notes[edit]

A^ The METAR in force at the time was FZAA 041300Z 18020KT 0500 +TSRA SCT022 SCT028CB BKN110 28/22 Q1008 CB SECT NE-E-SE-W BECMG 1500/[6]

This translates as METAR for N'djili Airport, issued on the 4th of the month at 13:00 Zulu time. Winds from 180° at 20 knots (37 km/h). Visibility 500 metres (550 yd). Thunderstorms and heavy rain showers (greater than 7.6 mm/h). Scattered (cumulative 3/8 of sky covered) clouds at 2,200 feet (670 m), Scattered (cumulative total now 4/8) thunderclouds at 2,800 feet (850 m), broken (cumulative total between 5/8 to 7/8) clouds at 11,000 feet (3,400 m). Temperature 28°C, dew point 22 °C, QNH 1008 hPa, thunderstorms to north east, east, south east and west of airport, visibility expected to improve to 1,500 metres (1,600 yd), end of report.

Nationalities of passengers[edit]

Nationality Fatalities Total
Passengers Crew
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 8[16] 0 8
 Georgia 0 4 4
 South Africa 3[17] 0 3
 Belgium 2[18] 0 2
 Bangladesh 2[16] 0 2
 Ghana 1[19] 0 1
 Benin 1[16] 0 1
 Cote d'Ivoire 1[20] 0 1
 Mali 1[20] 0 1
 Mauritania 1[16] 0 1
 São Tomé and Príncipe 1[16] 0 1
Unknown 7 0 7
Total Fatalities: 32

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dozens killed in DR Congo plane crash". Al Jazeera. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fatal UN plane crash at DR Congo's Kinshasa airport". BBC News. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "4L-GAE Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sole survivor describes Congo crash". Television New Zealand. 6 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Canadair Regional Jet – MSN 7070". Airfleets. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Hradecky, Simon (4 April 2011). "Crash: Georgian Airways CRJ1 at Kinshasa on Apr 4th 2011, missed the runway and broke up". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Kinshasa: un avion de la Monusco s’écrase à l’aéroport de N’djili" (in French). Radio Okapi. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Au moins 16 morts dans l'accident d'un avion de l'ONU au RD Congo" (in French). AFP via Google. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Kron, Josh (4 April 2011). "U.N. Plane Crashes in Congo, Killing 32". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "More than 30 people perish in UN plane crash in DR Congo". United Nations. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "UN Congo crash sole survivor says plane battered". Reuters. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Yeo, Ghim-Lay. "Georgian Airways CRJ100 crashes on UN mission flight". Flight International. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "UN Security Council conveys "deepest condolences" to those killed in DRC plane crash". xinhuanet. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Top UN officials express sorrow after deadly plane crash in DR Congo". UN News Centre. 5 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "US sends condolences after DR Congo plane crash". AFP. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d e More UN plane crash victims named as investigation into cause continues
  17. ^ "SA men killed in Congo crash". IOL.co.za. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Vanackere, Stephen. "Deadly MONUSCO plane crash in the DRC". Polwire. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "Congo-Kinshasa: Plane Crash Takes the Life of Dr. Boubacar Toure". AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "Black box found after UN plane tragedy in Congo". The New Age Online. Retrieved 22 June 2011.