• May 24, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 10:27 PM
  • Nairobi

CS Murkomen forms aircraft accident investigation team


By Peter Ochieng

Cabinet Secretary (CS) for transport Onesimus Kipchumba Murkomen has formed an aircraft accident investigation team, two days after a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) helicopter crashed in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

The crash killed 10 KDF officers, among them Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Francis Omondi Ogolla.
Through a gazette notice dated April 19, 2024, CS Murkomen said that the 7-member team will be led by Captain Peter Maranga.

He will be deputised by Eng. Fredrick Aggrey Opot. The five members of the team are; Captain Herman Njama, Retired Lt. Col Mike Mulwa, Ephantus Kamau, Captain Valentine Wendoh and Captain Martyn Lunani.

According to the CS, the team will review all accident reports involving Kenyan registered and operated aircraft, presented by the Republic of South Sudan and the Federal Republic of Somalia for the last five years, within three months.

“The investigation team shall conclude its work within three months of this appointment, and a comprehensive report to the Cabinet Secretary,” reads the gazette notice in part.

The team will also investigate any other matter relating to or consequential to the accidents, and make any appropriate recommendations for the prevention of recurrence and to improve aviation safety in Kenya.

In his condolence message to the families of the departed officers, Murkomen said he knew Ogolla as a man of dignity.

“In the course of duty, I came to know Gen Ogolla as a man of dignity and great wisdom. On many occasions, we had consultations, especially on matters aviation. Just this February, he called on me in my office and we had an extensive conversation on the development of our aviation sector and the good work our defence forces do to defend our borders.”

Last month, two people died when two planes collided at the Nairobi National Park, with about 44 others escaping unhurt.

The incident involved a Dash 8 registration number 5YSLK belonging to Safari Link Air, which was headed for Diani with 44 passengers aboard, and a Cessna plane.

The Cessna registration number 5YNNJ had two people on board who were on a training session. The two are the ones who died. The Cessna plane crashed at the park, while the Dash 8 managed to land back safely at Wilson Airport.

General Ogolla will be buried on Sunday in Ng’iya, according to his wish of being laid to rest within 72 hours upon his death.

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