Ethiopia takes over probe of CAA plane crash that killed three

The Cessna Citation flight inspection aircraft that crashed near Mossel Bay on January 23 2020, killing three Civil Aviation Authority staff on board. File photo.
The Cessna Citation flight inspection aircraft that crashed near Mossel Bay on January 23 2020, killing three Civil Aviation Authority staff on board. File photo.
Image: CAA

Ethiopian investigators have started probing a plane crash a year ago that killed three Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff.

A team from the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is due in SA this week to look into the last minutes of a flight inspection aircraft that went into a mysterious dive seconds before crashing into a Garden Route mountain on January 23 2020.

A month after the crash, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said an independent inquiry would be commissioned because the CAA could not investigate one of its own aircraft.

In a statement last Friday, the CAA said several countries were identified to take over the investigation, but worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns delayed the selection process.

Since being chosen, Ethiopian investigators had reviewed the CAA's interim report completed a month after the crash, and they were due in SA this week.

“A further progress report shall be provided hopefully within the next few months to the public by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau,” said the statement.

The interim report said the 33-year-old Cessna Citation lost 1,500ft in nine seconds before hitting a mountainside near Friemersheim at 530km/h.

TimesLIVE


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