Bluebird Aviation Dash 8 crash lands in Somalia

A Dash 8-400 of Bluebird Aviation, similar to the crashed aircraft. Photo: © Guido Potters

A Bluebird Aviation De Havilland Dash 8-400 operating a cargo flight from Djibouti to Beledweyne Airport in Somalia has crashed during landing at the airport, bursting into flames.

The aircraft, registered as 5Y-VVU, was carrying humanitarian aid and supplies for AMISOM (African Union Mission In Somalia) members based at the airport. The three pilots managed to escape the burning aircraft without serious injuries.

In an interview the following day, the captain stated that they saw a donkey on the runway, unsuccessfully tried to avoid hitting it and ended up impacting a ditch next to the runway. The aircraft then broke up and fuel ignited. The condition of the donkey is not known.

Kenyan airline Bluebird Aviation operates a fleet of over 10 aircraft, five of which are dedicated Dash 8-400 freighter aircraft, on charter flights for governments, NGOs, humanitarian aid companies and other private companies throughout East Africa.