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DECLARATION OF THE MINISTER OF STATE, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT

Version française

The Governor of the Littoral Region,

The General Manager of Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority,

The Resident Representative of ASECNA Cameroon,

The Representatives of Air Transport Companies,

The Representatives of the Media,

 

Thank you for honouring our invitation and coming out in your numbers for today’s meeting which is neither a conference, nor a press briefing. It is simply a declaration by the Chairman of the Technical Investigation Commission set up after the crash of Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800 that occurred here in Douala, on 5 May 2007.

 

As a reminder, on the night of the 4th to 5th May 2007, flight KQA507 from Abidjan International Airport (Côte-d’Ivoire) bound for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport (Kenya) made a regular stop-over at the Douala International Airport. It was dark and the weather was stormy. Just after the take-off, the aircraft crashed in a swampy and mangrove area, South-East of Douala, in the place known as MBANGA MPONGO. The 114 passengers and crew members perished and the aircraft was totally destroyed.

 

On 8 May 2007, the Prime Minister, Head of Government set up, by Order No. 098/PM, the Technical Investigation Commission on the air crash and assigned to it as mission to establish the causes of the accident. The Investigation Commission was made up of the following States and institutions:

 

  • Cameroon (State of Occurrence);
  • Kenya (State of registry and State of the operator);
  • The United States of America (State of manufacture);
  • Côte-d’Ivoire (State interested by the investigation);
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

 

In order to understand the causes of the accident, members of the Commission worked in the following cities:

 

  • Douala, place of the accident, to collect data on the history of the flight, airport facility, air navigation services, stop-over assistance services;
  • Ottawa, in the laboratories of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) for the processing and collection of data from the two flight recorders;
  • Nairobi, at the Kenya Airways (KQA) base and on the premises of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to collect data on:

  • Ø The flight crew involved in the crash;
  • Ø The monitoring of aircraft airworthiness and maintenance;
  • Ø The control of operations within Kenya Airways (KQA);
  • Ø The supervision of flight safety by KCAA.

 

  • Abidjan and Cotonou, to reconstruct the life of flight crew during their rest period and the flight history between Abidjan and Douala;
  • Washington, on the premises of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to analyze the aircraft performance and human factors, namely spatial disorientation (divergence between perceived orientation and actual orientation with reference to the surface of the earth);
  • Pensacola, still in the USA, for further investigation on spatial disorientation; and, finally
  • Seattle, to observe flight KQA 507 reconstructed by Boeing on simulator, based on data obtained from the flight data recorder.

After all this work, the Commission adopted a draft report that was transmitted to interested States and Canada for possible comments, as prescribed by the regulations in force. These States forwarded their comments which were assessed by the Technical Investigation Commission and have been taken into account in the final report that we have just officially made public.

 

The report, published and transmitted to Kenya, Canada, the USA and ICAO, contains information on the history of the crash, the airport facility, air navigation personnel, and the aircraft concerned. It is divided into four parts:

 

1- Basic information;

2- Analyses;

3- Conclusion;

4- Safety recommendations

 

The report may be consulted on the CCAA website, www.ccaa.areo.

 

It should be noted that in compliance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the Technical Investigation is not conducted in order to establish faults or to determine individual or collective responsibilities. Its sole objective is to draw lessons with a view to preventing future accidents.

 

In conclusion, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the States which contributed to this investigation, especially to:

 

  • Canada which provided its laboratories for the processing of data collected from the two recorders and for data collection;
  • The USA which through various studies enabled the analysis of the facts observed,;
  • Kenya, for its collaboration in all areas, from the start of the investigation to the production of the final report of the technical investigation.

 

Thank you for your kind attention.