A Rwandair passenger plane bound for Uganda crashed into the airport VIP lounge in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, yesterday and killed one passenger, officials said. Richard Masozera, director general of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters the pilot of the 50-seat jet reported a problem two minutes into the flight from Kigali and asked to land again. He landed safely on the runway and was guided by the marshals into the parking area," Masozera said.
"For some unexplained reason, the plane, from the parking spot, took off again at full power and ... took a right turn, unexplained, into the technical building," he said. Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said the plane, reportedly a Bombadier CRJ-100, had hit the VIP lounge, which is inside the technical building. Masozera said emergency services responded within two minutes of the crash, but one passenger later died of their injuries.
Jack Elk, acting chief executive of Rwandair, said the airline's best guess was that the plane "auto-accelerated". "The captain could not control it. The plane did not get airborne again, it taxied into the building," Elk said, adding that the aircraft's black boxes would be studied by experts. "The captain was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. He has not been able to give us any information so far," Elk said.
KIGALI, Rwanda, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Officials said no one died when a Rwandair Express airplane crashed into the Kigali Airport after returning to the airport when the throttle jammed. The Jetlink Air Canadair CRJ-100 aircraft was flying from Kigali to Entebbe, Uganda, with 10 passengers and five crew members Thursday when it had to return to turn back after a crew member reported the throttle was jammed, The Aviation Herald reported Friday. While the plane landed safely, it rammed the VIP terminal and burst into flames, emergency officials said. Rwandair Express said in a statement the airplane stopped in front of the VIP terminal when both engines suddenly revved up to takeoff power, causing the airplane to strike the terminal.
& By FELLY KIMENYI (AP) – 17 hours ago KIGALI, Rwanda — A passenger plane with a recent history of technical problems crashed into an airport VIP lounge in Rwanda's capital, killing one passenger, airline officials said Friday. Rwandair executive Jack Ekl said the pilot had reported technical difficulties after taking off from the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Thursday afternoon. He said the plane tried to make an emergency landing but crashed into the VIP lounge at the airport. Airline officials said there were 14 passengers aboard the plane. The company's CEO, Gerald Zirimuabagabo, said the plane had shown signs of technical problems as recently as Wednesday, when a problem with the plane's generator prompted an emergency landing at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya. He did not say whether mechanics addressed Wednesday's technical problem before Thursday's flight. The CRJ-100 aircraft was leased from Kenya's Jetlink. The plane was on route to Uganda before Thursday's crash. Zirimuabagabo said authorities from Kenya and Rwanda have launched an investigation and the airline has suspended its two other Jetlink-leased planes. He said the airline now only has one functioning plane.
Snippet: At 1240 hours, flight number WB205 took off for Entebbe with 9 adults and an infant. A crew of three – captain, first officer, and an engineer manning the flight and two RwandAir flight attendants were on board the flight. Two minutes into the flight, the captain called the control tower asking to land back because of a technical problem with the engine’s thrust lever (throttle). The aircraft safely landed and taxied into the parking bay. However, as the ground crew went to put on the back wheel chocks, the aircraft suddenly accelerated, turned right and hit the eastern wall of the VIP building after covering a distance of about 500 meters. After hitting the wall, the flight attendants aboard the aircraft initiated an evacuation sequence, and the passengers escaped through the over-wing emergency door and walked away from the aircraft to the terminal building.
Come on lads. 3 Facts. 1) A modern aircraft such as the RJ has weight on wheels (WOW) switches. The gear cannot be retracted on the ground due to these switches. 2) The gear handle commands ALL gear up. 3) Thus there is no way to retract just the nose gear!
I doubt anyone tried to retract the landing gear. The logic would unlikely have allowed it. My best guess is that when the nose penetrated the brick wall, it wiped the nose gear off and the six attachments in the wing box sheared and the fuselage rolled over the wing box, centre fuel tank and landing gear wheel wells. This aeroplane is a write off. But, modest negotiation with LH Technik should shore up Rwandair's CRJ spares.
If there was uncommanded thrust in the right engine (btw, there are no throttles in a CRJ) looking at a building 500m away, a push of the R FIRE Push switch would have reduced the thrust to zero. Plus, the full application of brakes might have then made the difference with about 100m to spare.
The maintainers have proven a number of times that if you put the gear handle UP and tricked the WOW switch for some unrelated reason, yes indeed, the nose gear will retract upon application of hydraulic power. The hydraulics are strong enough to drag the mains inboard.
While the fire push switch doesn't immediately shutdown the engine, it at least has the thrust output heading in the right direction (toward idle). A SWAG would be that high power settings would tend to make the shutdown happen quicker than at idle. (Never had the opportunity to test that idea) I should think taxying with one engine at a fairly high power setting would also cause hot brakes and therefore affect braking. The two simply can't be good in combination.
I've just re-read my earlier post. Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote it, but you're right, the 3A1 is the 100 and 3B1 is the 200. My thought was that the 2B19 portion of the designator meant the 3B1, which is a 200. Thanks for sorting that one out.
Also, didn't think LH Cityline had any 100s left.
P.S. Just read through the Africa thread on this one. Seems like we're on the same page. Also read it was a 100. I stand corrected.
Last edited by Willie Everlearn; 17th Nov 2009 at 01:51.