2010 Bandundu Filair Let L-410 crash
A Let L-410, similar to the accident aircraft
|Date||25 August 2010|
|Summary||Weight imbalance due to escaped crocodile|
|Site||near Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Aircraft type||Let L-410UVP-E20C|
|Flight origin||N'Dolo Airport|
The 2010 Bandundu Filair Let L-410 crash occurred on August 25, 2010, after a Filair aircraft crashed on approach to Bandundu Airport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing 20 people. The cause of the accident was uncertain. Both fuel starvation and an escaped crocodile have been blamed for the accident.
The aircraft involved was a 1991-built Let L-410 Turbolet, registered 9Q-CCN, with construction number 912608. It normally carries up to 19 passengers. The aircraft involved was previously registered ES-LLB, and was operated by Airest, an Estonian airline, until 2007, and was stored until Filair bought it in 2009.
The aircraft was operating a passenger flight from N'Dolo Airport, Kinshasa to Bandundu Airport, Bandundu, Mai-Ndombe District. At 13:00 local time (12:00 UTC), the aircraft crashed into a house approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) short of the runway at Bandundu. According to most sources, no one was injured on the ground. Of twenty-one people aboard the plane, one survived the crash. Local Radio Okapi reported that the aircraft ran out of fuel after being unable to land at Bandundu, but Filair later declared that 150 litres of kerosene were still on board, affirming that a technical problem had caused the crash. Daniel Philemotte, the Belgian airline owner, was at the controls of the aircraft himself. Most of the dead were Congolese. Soldiers of MONUC were the first to reach the crash site and reported that no explosion appeared to have occurred, supporting the original hypothesis of fuel scarcity.
The lone survivor of the crash claimed that a crocodile hidden in a duffel bag had escaped. The frightened passengers then moved towards the front of the aircraft away from the crocodile. This affected the aircraft weight and balance leading to a loss of control. The crocodile escaped as the plane approached its destination. The crocodile reportedly survived the crash but was killed by a blow from a machete.
Transportation vice-minister Laure Marie Kawanda Kayena stated that an investigation had been opened into the accident. According to a government spokesman, there has been no confirmation that fuel shortage caused the crash.
- Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Filair L410 at Bandundu on Aug 25th 2010, impacted building". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- "DR Congo air crash 'kills many'". Al Jazeera English. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "News from the World of L410". Planes.cz. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "DR Congo plane crash in Bandundu 'kills 20'". BBC News Online. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- "Dix-neuf morts dans un accident d'avion dans l'ouest de la RDC" (in French). Le Soir. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- "Plane crashes in DRCongo, 20 dead: deputy governor". Agence France-Presse. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic". telegraph.co.uk. 21 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- "Crocodile blamed for Congo air crash". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.