Isaac Ruto scare chopper had ‘crashed in 2011’ – report
The helicopter that made an emergency landing in Dagoreti on Sunday evening due to bad weather had previously crashed on December 17, 2011 at Kaptarkok School in Keiyo.
The Eurocopter AS 350 B2, then owned by Heliservices Ltd, was manufactured in 1998 and registered in Kenya on December 17, 2011.
The Air Accident Investigation report released by the Transport ministry on June 30, 2014 attributed the cause of the accident to the pilot’s inadequate preparation including “loading and assessment of the helicopter’s expected performance on take-off at the high altitude area”
Five people were on board but none of them was injured. The chopper was unable to sustain a continuous lift after take-off, and made a hard landing on an open field in Mokwo.
DEFECTS AND WEAR
“Also the helicopter’s engine performance at high altitude may have degraded slightly as a result of the internal defects and wear noted during the engine strip,” the report read.
The helicopter suffered damage on the left undercarriage skid, front cross tube and forward lower canopy cowling.
On that fateful day, the pilot left Eldoret International airport at 10.12am for a flight to Elburgon through Iten.
“The flight from Eldoret was uneventful up to the time the helicopter landed at an open Kaptarkok school field in Mokwo (Keiyo).
At 11.50 am the pilot did the preflight check procedures after which he attempted for the take-off.
The chopper lifted off from the ground slightly and moved slowly forward. However, the pilot realized that the lifting rate was insufficient to enable the helicopter clear the visible obstacles like the power lines and trees ahead.
It then hit the fence then crash landed approximately 150 metres from the point of take-off.
The helicopter was bought from South Africa in July 2012. It was however not equipped with a flight data recorder (FDR) or a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and it was not required by regulation.
The pilot, then aged 51, had an experience of 1940 flight hours and more than 173 hours on Eurocopter AS350 type.