2012 Kenya Police helicopter crash
The Eurocopter AS350 that crashed
|Date||10 June 2012|
|Site||Ngong Forest near Nairobi, Kenya|
|Aircraft type||Eurocopter AS350|
|Operator||Kenya Police Air Wing|
|Flight origin||Wilson Airport (Kenya)|
|Destination||Ndhiwa, Homa Bay District,|
The 2012 Kenya Police helicopter crash was an accident involving a Kenya Police helicopter on 10 June 2012. The Eurocopter AS350 crashed on a hill, killing all six passengers and crew on board. Among the fatalities were Kenya's Interior Security Minister George Saitoti and his Assistant Minister Joshua Orwa Ojode.
The Eurocopter AS350 had departed Wilson Airport in Nairobi for a flight to Ndhiwa with a full complement of two senior Kenya Police officers as pilots and four passengers on board: the two government officials and two Kenya Police officers acting as their bodyguards. The last radio contact with the helicopter was five minutes after it departed Wilson Airport at 8:32 am local time; and the aircraft then disappeared from radar another five minutes later at 8:42 am. It had crashed into the Kibiku area of the Ngong Forest just outside Nairobi and caught fire. All six occupants were killed in the crash; the aircraft was completely destroyed by the accident, a post-crash fire burning the victims "beyond recognition". Transport Minister Amos Kimunya reported the weather was "normal" at the time of the crash with visibility of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi).
The crashed helicopter, Eurocopter AS350B3e Ecureuil tail number 5Y-CDT manufactured in 2011, had flown for less than 100 hours when it entered service with the Kenya Police in January 2012 and had accumulated a further 240 hours' flying time since then. It had been bought to replace old Mil Mi-17 helicopters of the Kenya Police Air Wing.
The helicopter was on a flight from Nairobi to Ratang’a village in Ndhiwa Constituency, Homa Bay District. The two ministers on board – Interior Security Minister George Saitoti, who had announced his intention to run for Kenya's presidency, and Assistant Minister Joshua Orwa Ojode – had planned to attend a fundraising event at the Nyarongi Catholic Church. The two were to attend a Mass, which was interrupted by the Homa Bay District Commissioner and the local police chief, who broke the news about the deaths to those awaiting their arrival, including the mother and other close relatives of Orwa Odoje.
Commission of Inquiry
A commission led by Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal was formed to investigate the crash. The commission handed in its report on 28 February 2013. It found that the probable cause of the accident was that the crew lost control of the helicopter in conditions of poor visibility.
- List of Kenya plane crash victims The Standard, 10 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "Kenyan lawmaker killed in helicopter crash". KDFW. Dallas, TX. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Mukinda, Fred. "Chopper was ‘new and powerful’", Daily Nation, 10 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012
- "Kenya sets up inquiry into chopper crash", Capital News, 11 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012
- Helicopter bought last year after old fleet was grounded, The Standard, 10 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "Kenyan minister George Saitoti killed in helicopter crash". BBC News Online. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Gloom as DC breaks news of death to church. Sunday Nation, 10 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "Eurocopter blamed for Saitoti crash". Capital FM. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.