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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 204103
Last updated: 9 June 2021
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Time:06:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8D model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
Owner/operator:South African Express Airways
Registration: ZS-NMO
MSN: 4122
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 23
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Cape Town International Airport (FACT) -   South Africa
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Cape Town International Airport (FACT)
Destination airport:Bloemfontein-Braam Fischer Aerodrome (FABL)
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
A DHC-8-402Q aircraft with 23 persons on board departed from Cape Town International Airport, South Africa, on a scheduled commercial flight to Braam Fischer Airport (FABL) in Bloemfontein. Whilst climbing through FL160, a passenger informed the cabin crew that a cowling was missing at the left hand side of no. 2 engine. The cockpit crew then verified that the cowling at no 2 engine was missing, that most probably separated from the engine during the take-off roll or shortly thereafter. The cockpit crew continued with the flight to FABL, followed by an uneventful landing at Bloemfontein (FABL). It was observed that some damage was caused to the leading edge section, outboard of no 2 engine during the incident. No injuries were sustained.
The engine cowling was located approximately 660 metres from threshold of runway 01 at Cape Town International Airport (FACT) by the fire department (ARFF). The lower two latches of the cowling were found unlatched and the two side latches in the latched position.

The right hand engine left hand side cowling access cowling was not properly closed and latched when the engine oil uplifts were carried out during the night stop inspection. This work was being performed by an assistant who was not qualified to perform any work on the aircraft.
The Pre-flight inspection was also not properly conducted by the line maintenance and the flight deck crew prior to departure.

Probable Cause:
Right hand inboard engine cowling was not properly latched and locked during pre-flight inspection resulting in the separation from the aircraft during take-off.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report
Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation ZS-NMO(1) issued by CAA S.A.


Photo of ZS-NMO courtesy

Johannesburg - OR Tambo International (FAOR / JNB)
10 May 2013; (c) Kas van Zonneveld

Revision history:

09-Jan-2018 20:28 harro Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description