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Last updated: 7 December 2021
Date:Monday 24 July 1978
Type:Silhouette image of generic TRIS model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A Trislander Mk.III-2
Registration: 5Y-CMC
MSN: 1032
First flight: 1976
Engines: 3 Lycoming O-540-E4C5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 10
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 11
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Nyeri Hills (   Kenya)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Samburu Airport (UAS/HKSB), Kenya
Destination airport:Nairobi-Wilson Airport (WIL/HKNW), Kenya
The aircraft departed Samburu at 08:30 for a 50-minute flight to Nairobi and climbed to an altitude 8500 feet.
Along the route there was a heavy build up of stratus clouds with scattered cumulonimbus sprouting out of the top. The clouds seemed to extend from 2 000 feet up to 11 000 feet and more and the pilot decided to fly below the clouds and continue VFR. He then realized that the weather was deteriorating very rapidly and within the next minute or two the visibility had been reduced to a few yards. Realizing the proximity to the ground, the pilot applied full power and initiated a climb. A hill appeared ahead and the aircraft crashed into the trees in a nose-up attitude.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident was that the pilot flew VFR in IMC weather at a very low altitude, thereby flying blindly into a hill."

» ICAO Circular 166-AN/105 (95-100)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Samburu Airport to Nairobi-Wilson Airport as the crow flies is 220 km (138 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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