Thursday, August 15, 2013

►► SOMALIA: Ethiopian Air Force Antonov AN12 crashes on landing in Mogadishu; 4 dead.

Ethiopian Air Force[UPDATE AUGUST 15] On Friday, August 9, an Ethiopian Air Force Antonov AN-12 military transport (MCN ? | 1513) crashed on landing at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport killing four of the six persons aboard. The other two are said to have sustained serious injuries and are recovering at a Mogadishu hospital run by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a regional peacekeeping force.

In a statement, the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense said the aircraft was carrying a payload of ammunition destined for AMISOM and was en-route from Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. At approximately 08h00L, the aircraft was on finals for runway 05/23 when, according to some reports, the aircraft "got into trouble" before missing the runway completely, crashing and exploding into flames.

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© AMISOM (@amisomsomalia)
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Four of the six crew members onboard the aircraft were killed, including the chief pilot named as Colonel Berhanu Geremew. The co-pilot, a Major Fekadu, is said to have been among the two survivors taken to hospital. Ethiopian press reports that Colonel Berhanu had joined the air force during the days of the Mengistu "Derg" regime and was an experienced pilot.

Following the crash and the ensuing fireball, the airport was closed. After two hours, the blaze was extinguished by local fire-fighters though rescue efforts were hampered by rounds of ammunition exploding.

In its own statement, AMISOM stated that there had been no damage to the runway. The cause of the incident, however, is yet to be established with investigations currently under way.

[UPDATE AUGUST 15] Sources exclusive to The African Aviation Tribune have now confirmed the aircraft as having been a four-prop Antonov AN-12 (not an AN-24 as reported by Reuters et al) registration number 1513. Further reports suggest that on touch down, the Antonov suffered landing gear problems (possibly a burst tyre) which caused the aircraft to exit the runway. The subsequent loss of control resulted in the impact with the perimeter wall as seen in the first photo above. Below is a shot of the aircraft in question, #1513, in Ethiopia in the 1980s and an alternate view of the smouldering wreckage.

(Right) Ethiopian Air Force AN-12 #1513  in 1984 (Wolfgang Reichardt)