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Runs Out Of Fuel

LET 410 crash in Congo claims 20 lives

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Sep 01, 2010

(eTN) - The terrible record of the Congo DR aviation sector took another turn for the worse last week when a Czech-built, twin-engined turboprop 19-seater LET 410 crashed in bad weather, after apparently running out of fuel.

The Filair-operated plane came from the Congolese capital of Kinshasa but could reportedly not land immediately at the destination airport of Bandundu due to unspecified reasons before eventually crashing at the outskirts of the town. None of those on board, crew and passengers, survived the crash.

All of the Congolese airlines, including Filair, are banned by the EU for lack of sufficient safety oversight by the Congolese aviation authorities, which have long been blamed for simply not being able to build the capacity from within to administer safety regulations and airworthiness directives by manufacturers and oversee their licensed airlines in an appropriate fashion to ensure regular competent maintenance is being carried out.

While ICAO, the FAA, and the European Union have all in the past offered technical assistance to turn the country’s civil aviation authority around, train staff, and recruit new competent officers, flying in the Congo DR remains nevertheless a risky proposition until aircraft maintenance and crew training reach internationally-acceptable standards and the aircraft operators are starting to use state of the art aircraft. Condolences are extended to the families and friends of those on board the stricken aircraft.

LET 410 crash in Congo claims 20 lives
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