Mozambican plane crash investigation commences

03 Dec 2013 17:10pm
RUNDU, 03 DEC (NAMPA) – The team investigating the plane crash which occurred at the Bwabwata National Park in the Kavango East Region touched down at the Rundu airport on Tuesday.
They immediately proceeded to the scene of the accident which resulted in the deaths of the 33 passengers on board.
Mozambique Airlines put the death toll at 33, including six crew members and 27 passengers, and listed the nationalities of the passengers on Flight TM470 as 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French, one Brazilian and one Chinese national.
Investigating teams from Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and the Republic of China arrived in Namibia on Monday morning to investigate the cause of the plane crash.
The investigating teams from all countries involved have now formed an investigation commission led by Namibia.
The Deputy Director of Aircraft Accident Investigation in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Theo Shilongo told Nampa immediately after touching down at Rundu on Tuesday morning that the team also includes a delegation from Botswana who was controlling the airspace at the time of the accident.
The investigators were accompanied by high ranking officials of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the two Kavango regions.
Shilongo could not say how long the investigation would take, but said the team is likely to be in the Kavango East Region until Saturday, with further investigations to follow.
The aircraft investigators were transported to the scene which is over 200 kilometres (km) away from Rundu in Namibian Government vehicles.
Meanwhile, the two voice recorders and two black boxes of the plane which crashed have been recovered.
The data recorded by the flight data recorder (FDR), or black box, is used for accident investigation, as well as for analysing air safety issues, material degradation and engine performance.
Due to their importance in investigating accidents, these International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-regulated devices are carefully engineered and stoutly constructed to withstand the force of a high speed impact and the heat of an intense fire.
Namibia’s Director of Aircraft Accident Investigations in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Captain Ericsson Nengola confirmed the discovery of the black boxes to this news agency on Monday.
The Mozambican Airlines plane was en route to Angola from Mozambique, but crashed in Namibian territory, killing all 34 people on board at about 13h00.
As per international norms, the investigation of a plane crash should not exceed 30 working days.
Meanwhile, the wreckage of the aircraft will be transported to the Rundu airport, where it will be quarantined in a hanger for a complete and detailed investigation.