Narrative:The Zambian national football team had to play a World cup qualification match against the Senegal national team. In order to transport the team and officials to Dakar, a Zambian Air Force plane was prepared. The DHC-5 Buffalo, AF-319, had not been flying from December 21, 1992 to April 21, 1993 so test flights were carried out on April 22 and April 26. On April 26 both the A and B checks were carried out revealing certain defects such as carbon particles in the engine and in speed decreased gearbox oil filters, disconnected or unbridled cables and trace of heating. The Buffalo departed Lusaka, for Dakar with planned intermediate stops at Brazzaville, Libreville and Abidjan. After refuelling at Libreville, the aircraft took-off at 22:44 hours, one hour and 45 minutes late. Shortly afterwards the left engine failed. The plane headed out over sea and lost altitude until it struck the water 500 m offshore. An investigation conducted by the Gabonese Ministry of Defence suggested that the pilot shut down the remaining right-hand engine causing the plane to lose all power. The report, released in November 2003, also said that the pilot was tired, having just flown back from Mauritius the previous day.
» Air Safety Week 3.5.1993 (p.5)
» Flight International 6-12.04.1993 (p.35)
» The Post (Lusaka)
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Libreville Airport to Abidjan-Felix Houphouet Boigny Airport as the crow flies is 1567 km (979 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.