(eTN) – A Soviet-era Antonov 24 turboprop aircraft, owned and operated by Tarco Air of Sudan, crashed mid last week while landing on an airstrip in Darfur. The accident, which happened in reportedly good weather conditions in the early afternoon, is yet another tragedy for Sudan’s troubled aviation industry, which still permits the use of Soviet Union era very-aged aircraft, which are literally dumped on the African continent as more and more countries elsewhere not just severely restrict their use but outright banned them from their skies, even for overflights.
This latest tragedy cost several lives among the 36 passengers and crew on board, and some reports speak of as many as 6 dead. Eye witnesses are quoted as saying that upon a hard touchdown, one or more of the aircraft’s tires burst, before it then split in pieces with one section catching fire, destroying that part of the stricken craft.
An air accident investigation by the Sudanese aviation authority is now underway, and while one has to traditionally wait for the formal report to be submitted, the early conclusion by aviation observers is that the time is finally ripe to ban such aircraft and convert the fleets of Sudanese airlines to modern turboprops and jet aircraft, well maintained and operated by competent crew undergoing regular training cycles as internationally required.
Meanwhile we convey our condolences to the families and friends of those who perished and were injured in the crash.