Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Update: Cessna Crashes in Botswana, Twice in One Week

For the second time in roughly a week, a Cessna single-engine, turbo-charged aircraft crashed in Botswana on take-off earlier today (October 19) on takeoff in the Okavango Delta, but unlike the crash of a Cessna 208B on Friday (October 14), all six people aboard the Cessna 206 survived without injuries. Crash of the 208 killed eight foreigners, including the pilot.

Delta Air manager Kagiso Senwedi told AP that the passengers, a Namibian and four French tourists with a South African pilot, were alternatively transported by boat from the Delta camp in Botswana's remote north to Maun. The passengers were transported by boat because of their being shaken up in the crash of the 206.

COMMENT: A Cessna 208B operated by Moremi Air crashed shortly after takeoff on Friday from Xakanaxa bush airfield and burst into flames that killed the British pilot and seven tourists from France, Switzerland and the UK. Rescuers who arrived quickly at the scene had to ferry buckets of water from a nearby swamp to try to extinguish the blaze. Four people survived last week's crash, including a badly burned Frenchwoman who was medically evacuated for treatment to Johannesburg in neighboring South Africa.

One would hope that both Delta Air and Moremi are conferring with Botswana's civil aviation authority, as well as Cessna in the US, regarding just how coincidental two crashes in one week by Cessna turbo-charged aircraft could be. Providing that the engine function in both aircraft did not influence either crash upon take-off, fuel quality could potentially be a factor, as well as a review of maintenance records.

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