“Pilot was misled by JKIA flight controllers.” Claims Wilson Airport Air Traffic Controllers

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Fly Sax pilots Barbra Wangeci and her co-pilot Jean Mureithi

It is reported that Air traffic controllers at Wilson Airport have a strong believe that the pilot of a plane in the recent accident that occurred in the Aberdare Ranges last week, killing all ten on board, was misled by flight controllers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

However the mistake is said to happen when an airworthy aircraft, under pilot control, crashes as a result of poor communication from a control tower.

On Monday, accident investigators will return to the crash site in Njabini to retrieve the wreckage from the site  as another team looks through air traffic control tapes at JKIA.

IS THERE SOME LIGHT TO THIS ACCIDENT?

The plane was destined to Nairobi from Kitale last Tuesday when it smashed into the mountain range at around 5pm due to bad weather, killing all its eight passengers and two crew.

However it is reported that Captain Barbara Wangeci, 28, radioed the control tower and was advised to land at JKIA from the Utawala side.

However, she was not familiar with the route as she had always landed at Wilson Airport, and so the control tower at JKIA promised to help her navigate the Aberdare Forest towards a fix position known as Avena, and onwards towards JKIA, where she was to land on runway 24.

Ms Wangeci was flying at 11,000ft when she turned towards the mountain as instructed.

Satima, the highest peak of the Aberdares, stood in her way at 13,120ft, while Elephant Hill, where the plane crashed, towered over her at 12,815 feet.

With the fog blinding her, Ms Wangeci did not realise she was flying towards an outcrop.

POOR VISIBILITY

So she had to follow the new instructions despite the poor visibility, Mrs.Barbra turned towards the left, and “that explains why the aircraft crashed at 9,500 feet since she had not started the descent, as instructed”.

All odds, therefore, were stacked against Ms Wangeci, and her fate and that of her passengers were sealed by the fact that the Cessna Caravan she was flying does not have a moving map display to give her the actual location and warn her of any nearby outcrops.

The reason the control tower at JKIA did not foresee this is among the clues crash investigators will be looking at.