Gomair Antonov An-26 crashes near Kinshasa

An Antonov An-26, similar to the crashed aircraft. Photo: © Alec Wilson

An Antonov An-26, registered as 9S-AGB, owned and operated by Gomair, which has been chartered by a voting organization for the upcoming presidential election in the country, has crashed on approach to Kinshasa Airport in Congo.

In the early afternoon hours of Friday December 21st, the aircraft was found crashed on a hillside near Lukunga Mputa, close to Kinshasa. None of the 8 occupants survived the impact.

The aircraft departed from Tshikapa, in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 700km (430 miles) away from Kinshasa, on December 20th. It didn’t arrive at its destination after being cleared to descend to 5000 feet about 35km (21 miles) away from the destination airport. Shortly afterwards, the plane disappeared from radar screens. There were three crew members, one loadmaster, four additional passengers and 400kg of freight on board the plane. No survivors were found. At the time of the crash, it was raining in the region around Kinshasa.

The following information was published in local media and is not yet officially confirmed.
An unnamed expert has stated in an interview with newspaper “La Liebre Afrique” that the plane in question was not airworthy and that pilots of the aircraft regularly experienced technical issues with the plane. The same expert also claims that the aircraft may have carried some additional passengers who were sitting on the floor of the aircraft, apparently a common practice for such cargo flights.