Hewa Bora Airways Flight 122
A similar DC-9
|Date||2008-04-15 14:45 UTC|
|Summary||Engine failure at takeoff and runway overrun into city|
|Site||Goma International Airport, Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Injuries (non-fatal)||111 (40 passengers, 71 on ground)|
|Fatalities||40 (incl. 3 passengers)|
|Survivors||91 (83 passengers, 8 crew)|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51|
|Operator||Hewa Bora Airways|
|Flight origin||Goma International Airport|
On 15 April 2008, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 122, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 plane crashed into a residential and market area of Goma of the Democratic Republic of the Congo immediately south of Goma International Airport.
The eastern part of the DRC had been war-torn for decades, as various factions sought control of mineral resources. Goma was a center for the air shipping of cassiterite (tin oxide ore) from Nord-Kivu.
The European Union placed all DRC airlines on its List of airlines banned in the EU. HBA has held a single exemption for a single Boeing 767-266ER tail number 9Q-CJD, construction number 193H-1209, but that too had been removed on 11 April 2008. Very similar crashes in the DRC the previous October in the capital, Kinshasa and in 1996 also came down in residential or market areas. Because the DRC has so little passable roadway, most freight is moved by air and markets are common near airstrips.
HBA operates a number of different aircraft types, none of them modern. This aircraft was 31 years old.
Goma is on the volcanically active Great African Rift Valley. One volcano, Nyiragongo, is so close that its January 2002 eruption destroyed the north end of runway 18/36, leaving just 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) for aircraft operations. Goma International is at 1,551 metres (5,089 ft) elevation, and the mid-afternoon temperature is about 22 °C (72 °F). These factors would reduce the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) on the 1995 metre runway from 55 tonnes (121,000 lb) to less than 45 tonnes (99,000 lb). Another report asserts that only 1600 to 1800 m of the runway was usable. If the lower of these figures were correct, then the corresponding MTOW would be reduced another 3 tonnes (7,000 lb).
The aircraft was departing Goma bound for Kisangani. According to the director of the RVA, the number one engine caught fire after three hundred meters. The fire developed into an uncontained engine failure. The aircraft subsequently overran the runway and crashed at 14:30 local time (12:30 UTC), impacting concrete homes, shops and market stalls. The crash site was located at the Birere market on l’avenue du 20 mai, just beyond the south end of runway 18.
There were 86 passengers and eight crew members aboard the flight. Three of the passengers and 37 people on the ground were killed in the accident. A further 40 passengers and 71 people on the ground were injured.
Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of Central Africa Ignatios was among the survivors of the crash.  Another non-Congolese survivor was an Alcatel engineer named Selami Mordeniz. The fourth day more remains were recovered bringing the toll to 44, while 13 were still missing and 60 were rescued. An additional find, coupled with two deaths in hospital, brought the toll to 47 as of April 19. The Heal Africa clinic treated many of the injured. One of those still missing after 48 hours was an aid worker with the group Médecins Sans Frontières.
The airport had no functioning firefighting equipment. The initial crash response involved several international agencies present in Goma, including several organisations of the United Nations (MONUC, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, World Health Organization) and also Médecins Sans Frontières France and the International Red Cross. Members of the 6th Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry, Indian Army, who were posted there as part of the North Kivu Brigade of the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC), swung into action to effect a rescue of 6 survivors and retrieve 18 bodies. Indian Army personnel were also involved in initial crowd control and preventing the fire that arose from spreading to thickly populated areas nearby. Both flight recorders were recovered.
One Kinshasa paper, Le phare, reports that airports throughout the country are still using fifty-year-old infrastructure from the Belgian colonial era. Two days after the crash, the DRC government committed to making the runway repairs neglected since January 2002. A local human rights organization laid the blame on the DRC government:
|“||La responsabilité du crash d’un DC 9 de la compagnie Hewa Bora Airways le 15 avril dernier à Goma est d’abord imputable au gouvernement congolais, selon le Renadhoc, Réseau national des organisations non gouvernementales de droits de l’homme en RDC.
(The responsibility for the crash of a Hewa Bora Airways DC 9 on 15 April in Goma, lies completely irrefutably with the Congolese government, according to Renadhoc, the National Network of Non-Governmental Human Rights Organisations in the DRC.)
-Radio Okapi 2008-04-21
The German government sponsored a €15 million, three-year project to rehabilitate the 1100 m of buried runway following the Hewa Bora crash, but that work had been suspended when another aircraft, operated by CAA (Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation) overran onto the lava in November 2009.
- http://www.jacdec.de/info/2008-04-15_9Q-CHN.pdf[dead link]
- Barber, Kari (2008-04-15). "More Than 70 Killed in Eastern DRC Plane Crash". VOANews.com (Dakar: Voice of America). Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- Schwarz, Naomi (2008-04-15). "Plane crash in Congo kills at least 33". Reuters Africa (Reuters). Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- Abawi, Atia (2008-04-15). "Plane crashes into African marketplace". CNN.com (CNN). Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- Kaminski-Morrow, David (2008-04-15). "Hewa Bora DC-9 crashes in Congolese town". Flight. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "In pictures: Volcano wreaks havoc". BBC News. 2002-01-19. Retrieved 2008-05-15. "Aéroport de Goma, le gouvernement s’engage à réhabiliter la piste d’atterrissage" (in French). Radio Okapi. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Section 3.0 Airplane Performance" (PDF). DC-9 Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning Rev F. Boeing. May 1984. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- "Crash de Goma: Mwando Nsimba très fâché!" (in French). Kinshasa: Le Phare RDC. 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- "RVA : « après 300 mètres, le moteur numéro 1 a pris feu, donc, il y avait une explosion ! »" (in French). Radio Okapi. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- "Goma : ville moitié paralysée, 34 morts et plus d'une centaine de blessés, dernier bilan provisoire du crash" (in French). Radio Okapi. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- "NTSB Identification: DCA08RA050". NTSB. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- "Dozens Dead After Congo Plane Crash". London: Sky News. 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Congolese plane crashes into market town". International Herald Tribune (Paris: The New York Times Company). 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "20 missing after Congo plane crash". CNN. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- Zajtman, Arnaud (2008-04-16). "Death toll unclear after plane crashes in Goma". France 24. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Goma: 72 heures après le crash, la recherche des corps se poursuit" (in French). Radio Okapi. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- Katsikas, N. "Metropolitan Ignatios survives air crash in Congo". Athens News Agency. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- Şeref, Dinçer (2008-04-20). "Ölülerin arasından sürünerek çıktım" (in Turkish). Milliyet. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- Associated Press (2008-04-17). "Toll from Congo plane crash rises to 44". International Herald Tribune (Paris: The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Crash de Goma: 44 morts, 60 passagers rescapés, 13 disparus" (in French). Radio Okapi. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-04-24.[dead link]
- "DRC plane crash toll rises to 47". Relief Web. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- Kambale, Albert (2008-04-16). "Rescuers scour debris of DR Congo plane crash which killed 40". France24. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "MSF colleague disappears in Goma plane crash.". Médecins Sans Frontières. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "A part Ndjili et Loano, nos aéroports dépourvus de services anti incendie" (in French). Kinshasa: Le Phare RDC. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- Young, Eoin (2008-04-16). "MONUC expresses its sympathy to the Goma air tragedy victims". MONUC. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Indian Army soldiers rescue Congo crash victims". Zeenews. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-04-28. - not a wp:RS
- Kaminski-Morrow, David (2008-04-17). "Flight recorders recovered from crashed Hewa Bora Airways DC-9". Flight (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- Kimpozo Mayala, Jacques (2008-04-17). "RDC: des aéroports d’une autre époque" (in French). Kinshasa: Le Phare RDC. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Bousculade pour le deuil de Birere" (in French). Le Phare RDC. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
- "Goma : sans motifs valables, la réhabilitation de la piste de l’aéroport stoppée depuis 3 semaines" (in French). Radio Okapi. 22 November 2009.[dead link]
- "Goma : crash d’un avion de CAA, quelques blessés" (in French). Radio Okapi. 19 November 2009.[dead link]
|Wikinews has related news: Plane crash in Congo kills at least 70|
- Dozens killed as DC-9 jet crashes in Congo Houston Chronicle
- African air crash kills 75; 15 survive CNN
- Video footage of disaster
- Crash survivor: God 'still has work for us to do'
- Patrick Smith "Ask the pilot" Salon, page 2 2008-04-25 - ad supported site
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
- "UN staff among few survivors of deadly plane crash in eastern DR Congo" UN Daily News 2008-04-15