Accident description
Last updated: 17 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 19 October 2004
Time:06:15 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Air Excel
Registration: 5H-AXL
C/n / msn: 208B-0401
First flight: 1994
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Loiborsoit Village, Simanjiro District (   Tanzania) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Arusha Airport (ARK/HTAR), Tanzania
Destination airport:Ruaha Airport, Tanzania
Narrative:
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan 5H-AXL was operating a charter flight to transport tourists from Arusha to Ruaha, Tanzania. It was carrying one pilot and nine passengers. The take-off, climb out and the initial phase of the flight were normal. About 20 minutes into the flight at FL125 (12500 feet amsl) when the pilot had already made a power reduction and was in the process of trimming the aircraft for level flight, a loud bang was heard that was accompanied by a loss of engine power. The pilot immediately switched on the ignition to no avail. He set the power lever to IDLE, at the same time checking the Ng, which read 0%. The indications from other instruments and the annunciator panel showed that the engine was not running. Efforts to restart the engine failed and the pilot took advantage of the high altitude to circle around in order to find a convenient field for executing a forced landing.
The pilot subsequently located a Masai steppe overlooking Loiborsoit village in Simanjiro. After briefing the passengers about the imminent forced landing the pilot made a touch down on a grass field. After rolling for about 400 meters 5H-AXL ran into a terraced field from which maize had been harvested. Tire marks on the ground indicated that it was here that the nose landing gear struck raised lip of earth and sheared from its fuselage attachment point. It subsequently penetrated into the forward baggage pod compartment.
The aircraft came to rest some 480 meters beyond the point of initial touch down. The pilot opened the cockpit door and all passengers disembarked safely. There was no fire and there were no injuries.
The aircraft sustained damage to its nose landing gear which separated and the propeller, whose two blades were bent. One of the tubular members of the the engine bearer frame was bent and the baggage pod was damaged when it scraped the ground.


CAUSE(S):
The accident was caused by the aircraft stalling and crashing whilst trying to avoid a truck on the road. The attempt to land on the road was necessitated by the loss of power arising from the engine CT blade(s) failure in flight.
The cause of the CT blade(s) failure could not be determined due to severe overheating and impact damage to the blade airfoils. The failure of the pilot to see the landing sight clearly through the wind screen due to the splash of engine oil on the wind screen was a major contributory factor.

Events:


Sources:
» 2004 Air Accidents / Incidents (Tanzania CAA, AIB)
» NTSB

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Tanzania AIB
report status: Final
report number: ACC/14/04
download report: Aircraft accident report No. ACC/14/04 (Tanzania AIB ACC/14/04)

Photos

photo of Cessna 208B Grand Caravan 5H-AXL
5H-AXL was repaired following the accident and was still operational at Air Excel in 2011.
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