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Congo Plane Crash

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Congo Plane Crash

Old 21st Oct 2010, 08:30
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In short:
Contrary to an earlier assertion mentioning fuel starvation, the cause of the crash is said here to be panic in the cabin just prior to landing, after a (living) crocodile freed himself from a large sportsbag in the cabin.
The hostess would have fled towards the cockpit, and so did all/most of the passengers, resulting in a loss of control.
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 09:44
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"Any chance of an English translation?"

Les vraies raisons du crash de Bandundu RD Congo, Socit : Jeuneafrique.com

"From the enquiry report and the statement of the sole survivor, the crash was caused by the evasion of a crocodile hidden in a sports bag.
The accident involving an A/C of the congolese company Filair, that crashed Aug 25, 1600 feet short of the Bandundu regional airport killing 19 PAX and crew, was not caused, as officialy stated, by a fuel problem, but to panic on board. According to an enquiry report that carries the mention "by request of the CPTA" (Comité Professionel des Transporteurs Aériens) and the statement of the sole survivor -seriously wounded- to wich J.A. has had access, the A/C, a czech Let-410 turboprop (whose belgian pilot and copilot did not survive) carried inside the cabin a... living crocodile.
One of the PAX had dissimulated the animal, that he hoped to sell, in a large sports bag, of wich the animal escaped during the descent to Bandundu. The cabin assistant, terrified, rushed to the cockpit, immediately followed by the PAX. Unbalanced, the A/C spinned, in spite of the desperate efforts by the pilot, to recover. If one believes the report, some of the witnesses on the scene became raiders, taking even the clothes from the victim's bodies. Tragicomic detail: the crocodile survived the crash, only to be killed by machette. One video shows it emerging from the remains of the Let140..."

AMAZING isn't it?
JCM
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 12:04
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I know this is a serious accident with multiple fatalities, but I'm sure everyone is thinking the same.

Who the hell takes a live crocodile into the cabin of an aircraft?
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 12:59
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Who the hell takes a live crocodile into the cabin of an aircraft?
If true, another contender for the "You Know You're In Africa When..." thread.
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 13:09
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"You Know You're In Africa When..."
Possibly, but until I see an official report I will be a tad more suspicious of creative journalism. Elvis seen in supermarket etc ...........
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 13:13
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Originally Posted by Ex Cargo Clown
Who the hell takes a live crocodile into the cabin of an aircraft?
Quite usual in some part of RDC... seen and done it few times (as well as other very unpleasant creatures). Problem is that you (Pilot) find out usually while airborne or after landing.
You can not rely on your ground staff + corruption at a very high level + you can not as crew physically check every individual luggage + in the local's minds they do nothing wrong...

Mind on other ex and current "posh" outfits, they carry falcons pre-booked seats in first class... crap on very expensive seats ..... ok they are wearing their blind folding helmets.
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 13:22
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been looking around and see reports now that A/C requested to land on 'reserve' runway strip alongside normal runway. Passengers noticed this and panicked and all moved to one side of aircraft.

1. Seems unlikely but is it anymore unlikely than the crocodile story?

2. Not a flier myself, but used to do w+b, would 8+ passengers moving sides of the aircraft (in flight) really cause it to lose control? I took a pleasure flight on a DC3 years ago and we all (as were were advised to do) kept moving from side to side to 'observe the views' - all seemed stable then? perhaps though this was when the A/C was on final approach (and should have been belted in) and would have a much bigger impact at lower speed???

Can someone help me out on if this is plausable/likely?
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 13:42
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Carrying sick and injured wildlife is all part of the job around the game reserves, usually big cats in the C206/208 and on one occasion a half ton baby elephant in a twotter. But the only passenger should be a vetinary assistant with an extra syringe of sedative in case the freight looks like waking up.

Wildlife in passenger bagage is less common but is does happen occasionally.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 04:02
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Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic

LET 401 Turbolet allegedly put out of trim by panicking passengers rushing forward. Is this possible?l


A small airliner crashed into a house, killing a British pilot and 19 others after a crocodile smuggled into the aircraft in a sports bag escaped and started a panic.


Published: 5:53PM BST 21 Oct 2010

The plane came down despite no apparent mechanical problems during an internal flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It has now emerged that the crash was caused by the concealed reptile escaping and causing a stampede in the cabin, throwing the aircraft off-balance.

A lone survivor apparently relayed the bizarre tale to investigators.

The crocodile survived the crash, only to be dispatched with a blow from a machete.

Danny Philemotte, the Dutch pilot and 62-year-old owner of the plane's operator, Filair, struggled in vain with the controls, with Chris Wilson, his 39-year-old First Officer from Shurdington, near Cheltenham, Glocs.

.....................

According to the inquiry report and the testimony of the only survivor, the crash happened because of a panic sparked by the escape of a crocodile hidden in a sports bag.

One of the passengers had hidden the animal, which he planned to sell, in a big sports bag, from which the reptile escaped as the plane began its descent into Bandundu.

A report of the incident said: "The terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."

The plane was then sent off-balance "despite the desperate efforts of the pilot", said the report.

The plane was a Czech-made Let L-410 Turbolet, one of more than 1,100 produced as short-range transport aircraft and used mainly for passenger services.
Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic - Telegraph
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 09:07
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SASKATOON9999: not sure where you are coming from, but I doubt the pilot wants to risk his life in the first by hoping to glide to his destination ..

As a rule, in the 19 seat arrangment of the LET 410's the air hostess sits at the tail end, where the luggage gets loaded (and a tail stand is a common thing on Let 410s, to stop the plane sitting on it's tail on ground)

I believe the Let is tail heavy in a way, and pax moving to front would have definitely moved the CofG
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 09:24
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I pax'ed frequently on SEA's LET 410s in the Philippines. Every pax' weight and carry on was checked on a scale and they were particular about seating. Just an indication.
Per
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 10:01
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Ancient Mariner: Did you forget to mention that the flights to certain destinations in Philippines go 'minus' the air hostess ??:

The safety demo is done before departure and the air hostess steps-OFF the plane and closes the door .. No kidding ..

And every pax is made to step on the large scale (oops .. 'large size' people were trying to avoid the embarassment of everybody seeing your weight but - sorry - everybody does it .. .. big, small or medium size people .. all get weighed .. )
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 11:10
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And a croc caused the crash .......
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 11:36
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I flew for the UN (MONUC) in the Congo for 3.5 years and that was 'regulated' compared to private operators and we had UN staff turning up to a King Air with live goats and chickens and when told they could not bring live animals on board, they would go round the corner, slaughter the animal, wrap it up in sacks and put it in as cargo.

Life in DRC is nothing like what one knows in the First World, and anything and pretty much everything goes!

Nothing would surprise me and this story doesn't either.

Of course it is sad for the family's of all concerned.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 13:12
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Wasn't there another thread on this started by the somewhat scared, Captains' Wife ?

Or am I confused ?
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 14:24
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I've posted about it but to be honest, it doesn't seem likely. The original witness statement mentioned the stampede but no crocodile (that doesn't seem like something you'd forget). The JA article says you can see the croc emerging from the plane on YouTube but no one has found the video they are referring to. One of the commenters says he was an eye witness and there was no sign of a crocodile on the scene.

I think JA have got a false lead and the Telegraph were too quick to repeat their report, to be honest.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 15:38
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Any confirmation of what the FDR says relative to aircraft trim capability?

I would start there first and then pick what might have been the initating event after that.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 16:33
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Comment from apparent witness

The first comment in the Jeune Afrique article:

Michel Pauly Beloy - 20/10/2010 à 12h:10

C'est faux. Le jour du crache, je suis arriver sur le lieu 10 minutes après et j'ai participé a conduire les morts à la morgue ainsi que le rescarpé EKANDO à la salle d'urgence.Il y avait des crocodiles (les petits(. Ce n'est un crocodile qui a crée le crach. Je me mets quiconque au defi. Je suis Elu Député Provincial du Bandundu. .
It's false. The day of the crash, I arrived on the scene 10 minutes after and participated in taking the dead to the morgue as well as the [rescarpe EKANDO = injured survivor?] to the emergency room. There were crocodiles (small ones). It wasn't a crocodile that caused the crash. I challenge that. I am elected Provincial Deputy of Bandudu.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 18:37
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It's false. The day of the crash, I arrived on the scene 10 minutes after and participated in taking the dead to the morgue as well as the [rescarpe EKANDO = injured survivor?] to the emergency room. There were crocodiles (small ones). It wasn't a crocodile that caused the crash. I challenge that. I am elected Provincial Deputy of Bandudu.
I find this comment is credible because this was my reaction sitting thousands of miles away. Anyone who believes the newspaper tripe either (a) doesn't know anything about the Sudan or (b) knows nothing about crocodiles.

First of all, a crocodile that fits into a large gym bag is going to be no bigger than six feet in length including a tail. It's basically harmless at that size; it certainly isn't deadly. It doesn't surprise me that there was a crocodile on the flight but as the good deputy said it would have been a small one.

Second of all if this tiny little croc made the passengers panic then . I can believe that perhaps someone in the plane went after the croc as the poor animal curried in panic towards the front of the plane. But so many people went after it that it destabilized the plane? I challenge that.

Anything under the sun is possible. But there is going to have to be more evidence than the testimony of one survivor to make me believe it.
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Old 22nd Oct 2010, 18:47
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todays daily mail newspaper stated a pax had bought a crododile on the flight in a large bag, it got out on finals and the pax surged to the front causing a weight and balance issue
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