Saturday, July 09, 2011

At Least 74 Dead in Crash by Banned Congolese Airline

A 46-year-old Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land at Kisangani airport in Congo, killing at least 74 of the 118 on board. Here's a news report on the crash.

The plane was flown on a domestic flight by Hewa Bora Airways, which is on a banned-airlines list maintained by the European Union to identify airlines that have severe problems. Here is that list.

The plane that crashed was listed variously by international safety sources as Boeing 727-030 or 727-022(WL). Registration: 9Q-COP, according to

No one who has any choice would fly an airline like Hewa Bora, but of course lots of people have no choice (and no access to reliable safety warnings) in a corrupt, wretched country like Congo where even roads are a novelty outside the cities.

One area of inquiry would be useful, as investigators start work. That is, what's the history of this particular aircraft? From whom did Hewa Bora Airways acquire the 727?



Chuck Till said... is the best source to answer questions like that. They say 9Q-COP was originally delivered to Lufthansa (thus the 727-030) in 1965 and was acquired by Hewa Bora in 2008, with many owners in between.

ChefNick said...

I lived in Zaire (now the DRC) for three years in the early 70s. My dad, via Pan Am, was the general manager for Air Zaire, the national airline.

I never felt fear flying Air Zaire, but I think they had a service contract with Sabena, so . . . the only thing that used to happen with maddening regularity was that Dictator Mobutu would occasionally offload a full 747 so he could fly somewhere with his entourage and my dad had to put them all up at hotels.

My, how times change.