An Update On That Tragic Plane Crash In Kenya


Published: February - 2004

Continuing subscribers to this newsletter will remember our report on the tragic plane crash in Kenya this past July 19 that killed 12 members of the George Brum- ley family, including George, III, a Hunting Report subscriber. The plane carrying the Brumley family, you will recall, inexplicably crashed into 17,058-foot Mount Kenya, killing everyone aboard. The plane was operated by Air 2000, a prominent aviation company based in Johannesburg, whose charter services for the hunting community have been written up in these pages.

The accident left a cloud of suspicion over Air 2000, you may recall, because the New York Times weighed in at the time with a report suggesting that the pilot of the aircraft was at fault for the accident because he was "pulling a tight circle around [Mount Kenya) to give the family a closer view." The article went on to note that the crash occurred in the late afternoon, when storms typically lash Mount Kenya. "The time of day was significant," the Times intoned.

Turns out this is all poppycock. Last month, I spoke with Air 2000 officials at the Dallas Safari Club Convention and asked them if any new information on the crash had surfaced. Indeed it has, was the reply. Seems the plane that crashed into Mount Kenya was flying IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and was under positive air traffic control when it collided with the mountain. The plane was on a routine flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to a regional airport northeast of that capital city. Getting there required that the pilot fly in a straight line almost due north until he had passed Mount Kenya and then turn right. The weather was such that no one in his right mind would consider trying to view Mount Kenya.

Nairobi Air Traffic Control handed the plane off to a military base in the area, Air 2000 says, and the pilot was trying to reach that base when the Air Traffic Control tape suddenly, and inexplicably, ends. A full five minutes of the tape has simply disappeared, Air........(continued)

 
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