The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said the plane had taken off from Kitale, a town in Kenya’s west, en route to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital, Nairobi. A search for a small passenger plane that disappeared in Kenya on Tuesday was called off for the evening but will resume at dawn, Kenyan aviation authorities said late on Tuesday. It carried eight passengers and two crew members, according to a statement on the website of Fly Sax, the operator of the flight. “Search and rescue teams were activated immediately and have as at this evening yielded no results. They have paused the search for the night and shall resume at first light tomorrow morning,” KCAA said.
This is what we know so far: FlySax-operated Cessna C208 aicraft, registration number 5Y-CAC, took off from Kitale airstrip in Trans-Nzoia County at 4.05pm on Tuesday. The plane had eight passengers and two crew members on board. The pilot and co-pilot were both women. The aircraft was expected to fly for an hour and 15 minutes and touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi at 5.20pm.
According to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) and FlySax the plane was last seen on the JKIA radar at 17.20pm, the time it was supposed to land. It was flying at 11,000 feet above sea level, 40 nautical miles from Nairobi. Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), which is part of the search and rescue team, said there were strong indications that the plane went down in the Aberdares, Nyandarua County.
Search and rescue teams, whose efforts have been hampered by bad weather in the Aberdares, are expected to give information once they reach the scene of the crash. Teams from KCAA, Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and the Air Accident Investigation Division of Kenya (AAID) were dispatched immediately the plane was reported missing. Search in the Aberdares went into Tuesday night and was called off due to darkness and bad weather in the dense forest. The hunt for the plane has resumed but aerial search is still hampered by fog. The other puzzle is the plane’s flight path and how it found itself in the Aberdare region, which is considered dangerous. Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the gravity of the matter, told the Nation that the plane was to land at Wilson Airport, but it was diverted to JKIA for reasons we are yet to establish. The plane was to land at JKIA from the Utawala direction, which, according to other pilots the Nation spoke to, forced it to take the Kinangop route. The Kinangop route is characterised by bad storms.