Wednesday July 21, 2021
A Skyward Express de Havilland Dash 8-100 has crash-landed in Kenya today. The aircraft, registered 5Y-GRS, was undertaking a flight between Nairobi and Elwak in Kenya with 37 passengers and four crew members onboard when the incident occurred. The aircraft landed on the gravel runway in Elwak, but the left main gear collapsed and it went off the runway. No injuries have been reported.
Landing gear collapsedA Dash 8-100 flying for Skyward Express has crash-landed in Elwak this morning, following a short flight from Nairobi. According to reports, 41 people were onboard at the time of the accident, but none are reported to be injured.
The Aviation Herald reports that the aircraft touched down successfully on the gravel runway at Elwak, but that one of the main landing gears collapsed. As a result, the aircraft left the runway and ended up resting on its side. Passengers can be seen leaving the aircraft on foot, but the airframe is likely to be written off.
5Y-GRS is identified by ch-aviation as being a 27-year-old Dash 8-100, originally delivered to Tyrolean Airways in 1994. It spent a year with Olympic Aviation from 2003 to 2004, before transferring to leasing company DAC Aviation East Africa. It is shown as being operated by DAC Aviation, presumably on a wet lease basis.
It’s not currently clear whether the aircraft was actually heading to Elwak or if this was an unscheduled stop. Elwak is a military base, and local reports suggest that the flight had been due to land at Mandera.
The airline has issued a statement saying that all passengers and crew are safe, and that it is working to determine the cause of the accident. It did not share what the intended destination for the flight was.
Skyward Express was founded in 2013 from the ashes of Skyward International Aviation. Based out of Nairobi Wilson Airport, it operates a fleet of seven aircraft, made up of a CRJ 100, three Fokker 27s and two DHC Dash 8-300s. The Dash 8-100 is not listed as its own plane, as it appears to be wet leased from DAC Aviation.
Although the company claims to be separate from Skyward International, some would say the transfer of name was nothing more than a rebranding. Skyward International suffered a loss of reputation following several air accidents, with four of its Fokker 50s destroyed, according to ATDB.aero.
Data from ATDB shows that one F50 was crashed in Nairobi when the landing gear would not lower, causing it to make a belly landing. Another crashed near Ultawala after crew ignored multiple alarms during the takeoff roll, killing all four onboard. A third crashed during a forced landing at Aweil-Uwayl, where one of its wings was sheared off, while the fourth veered off the runway at Mogadishu after the landing gear collapsed on landing.
While today’s incident is, on paper, related to a different airline to this, it’s not a good outcome for Skyward Express in terms of passenger confidence.