ASN Aircraft accident Antonov An-2R ST-AUS Umgalala Airstrip
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 6 October 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic AN2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Antonov An-2R
Operator:Bashmia Aero Spray
Registration: ST-AUS
MSN: 1G156-23
First flight: 1974
Total airframe hrs:6481
Engines: 1 Shvetsov ASh-62IR
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Umgalala Airstrip (   Sudan)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Umgalala Airstrip, Sudan
Destination airport:Umgalala Airstrip, Sudan
The Antonov 2 aircraft was assigned to spray birds at the white Nile Scheme. The aircraft arrived at Um-galala airstrip 5 days before the accident date and carried out seven spraying flight in the previous five days.
The spraying of birds start daily about 18:30 local time and took about 50 minutes flight. According to the scheduled operation the aircraft started its flight ten minutes before Sun set to fly to the assigned bird location for spraying chemicals.
On the day of the accident the airstrip lights were positioned by the captain himself at the edges of the airstrip. He put seven lamps at the left side and three lamps at the right side of the airstrip. The red lamp which should have been placed at the beginning of the airstrip was not placed that day due to a flat battery.
At about 15:45 UTC the aircraft took-off for spraying birds. That night was dark and there was no moon light. After takeoff the technician switched on all lamps except the red one waiting for aircraft arrival.
Fifty minutes after takeoff the aircraft was seen approaching the airstrip. The aircraft came flying over the strip at a height of about 25 meters and made a left turn. The aircraft then made another approach and came over the left row of lamps at a height of about 10 meters, as stated by the technician, and made a sharp left turn. At that instant the aircraft went down and crashed east of the airstrip. A fire erupted. The pilot died of his injuries.
Although the airplane was formally registered ST-AUS in July 2009, the airplane still carried its previous Polish registration mark SP-WMH.

Probable Cause:

The captain, as he was not rated for instrument flying, was disoriented by the absence of the red lamp which was used to indicate the beginning and centreline of the airstrip in addition to remains of birds on windscreen which decreased the pilot vision.
The presence of some people from the village within the East side of airstrip causing illusion of vision to the pilot was considered a contributory factor to this accident.

Follow-up / safety actions

AAICD issued 3 Safety Recommendations

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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.
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