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JKIA belly landing is latest accident for Skyward International Aviation

The belly landing of a Fokker 50 at Nairobi’s JKIA yesterday is the latest in a string of accidents affecting the aircraft’s operator, Skyward International Aviation.

The F-50 did an almost perfect belly landing after the landing gear reportedly failed to deploy. The F-50 was said to be on a flight from Wajir. There was widespread relief at the lack of casualties in yesterday’s incident but serious questions have been raised regarding the operations of Skyward International Aviation.

It is indeed worrying for such a small operator to have experienced three major accidents in 7 months. The operator’s aircraft have been involved in other incidents in the recent past.

Remember the Fokker 50 that crashed at Utawala Estate last July? The aircraft, 5Y-CET, was operated by Skyward International Aviation. It crashed soon after taking off from JKIA with a cargo of miraa headed for Somalia. All four people in the aircraft died in the accident.

In September 2014, another Skyward International Fokker 50 suffered a runway excursion at Mogadishu International Airport when the landing gear collapsed. No casualties were reported from that incident but the aircraft suffered extensive damage.

That’s three accidents in 7 months. Two of those accidents involved landing gear failure.

Who exactly is Skyward International? It is a cargo and passenger charter operator based in Nairobi and established in 2010 by a group of local pilots and investors. Apart from Fokker 50 aircraft, Skyward International Aviation has at least one Fokker 100 jetliner (5Y-SIA) used for passenger charters.

Prior to the recent accidents, another Fokker 50 operated by Skyward International suffered a landing gear collapse on landing at Aweil, South Sudan in November 2012. No fatalities were reported but one passenger got light injuries.

Despite these incidents, Skyward International boasts on its website boasts of an, incident/accident-free history because, “safety and security are of the utmost importance when traveling.”

By any standard, the rate of accidents involving Skyward International aircraft should be a matter of concern in order to save precious human lives.

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One thought on “JKIA belly landing is latest accident for Skyward International Aviation

  • Kamau says:

    Does KCAA have a policy on investigating such incidents? If so then it would be good to know if these incidents are related eg through negligence.
    Is such info available to the public?