Kenya Airways : Human error behind the Douala Crash

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The former Camerounian minister for transport, Dakolé Daïssala, declared that human error was the cause of the the Kenya Air transport company’s Boeing 737-800 unexpected crash at Mbanga Pongo, a clearing close to the Douala international airport, on the 4th of may 2007.

“we are certain that it is human error. In Cameroun we are much quicker to react to fantasies than quietly solving a problem. In what concerns aeronautics, we do not have the right to say anything without a proper assessment of facts. We, therefore left the technicians to finish their work” said Mr. Daïssala, in an interview with a private Camerounian daily.
Mr. Daïssala, the former political prisoner and head of the “Mouvement pour la défense de la République” (MDR, linked to the ruling government), dismissed from the government in the 7th of September, was the transport minister when the crash occured. A crash that cost the lives of 114 passengers out of which 35 were Camerounians.

“We found the black box and sent it to Sarajevo Bosnia for analysis. There are two boxes, one that records the flight’s parametres (flight data recorder) and a second which records the last words of the pilotes in the cockpit (cockpit data recorder). This discovery allowed us to know what the pilot said to his co-pilot before the crash: Careful we are overturning, we need to switch to automatic piloting to keep the plane steady.
“The young co-pilot did not do what he was told to do. The final words we heard was “We are crashing “. And disaster struck… Dakolé Daïssala stated in his interview with the journal “La Nouvelle Expression”.

According to the former minister, “the Camerounian State is not to be blamed for the simple reason that the pilot was asked not to fly due bad weather “.

The Kenya Airways’ Boeing 737-800 which operated the Abidjan – Naïrobi – Dubaï via Douala route, suddenly disappeared from radar screens two minutes after its take-off from the Douala International Airport during a heavy thunderstorm.

Whilst awaiting official results from the investigation, the declarations of the former transport minister is the first inside information on the crash.

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