Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fatal crash of Filair Let L-410 at Bandundu, DR Congo

by B. N. Sullivan

A Let L-410 turboprop aircraft operated by Filair crashed this morning near Bandundu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  News reports say that the aircraft crashed while on approach to Bandundu.  The aircraft was said to be arriving at Bandundu from Kinshasa, the capital city of the DRC.  There was no post-crash fire.

It is unclear exactly how many people were on board, but various news sources report 19 or 20 fatalities, with possibly one survivor.  Some reports say that the aircraft crashed into houses, and that there may be some ground casualties as well.  Other sources say that occupants of a house that was hit "had managed to flee."

The AFP news service, quoting an official from Bandundu province, reports that "the owner of the private airline Filair, Belgian Daniel Philemotte, 62, was at the controls and was among those killed, along with the co-pilot and stewardess."  This has not been independently confirmed.

Objective information from this part of the world is difficult to come by, but if any more facts emerge, I will post an update.

Note: The photo on this page, taken at Kikwit airport, DR Congo in July of 2008, is a Let L-410 in Filair livery.  It may be the accident aircraft.

[Photo Source]