Plane crash: Pilots may not have known where they were

Plane crash: Pilots may not have known where they were

The route that the ill-fated Fly SAX plane took has raised eyebrows within several quarters.

Normally, the Kitale-Nairobi route should take an hour.

Aircrafts plying the area normally pass over Eldoret through to Njoro in Nakuru, followed by Naivasha through to Ngong Hills.

It is at this point that all aircrafts approaching Nairobi from Western Kenya get clearance to land.

They can either land at Wilson Airport in Langata or the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Embakasi.

According to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), though a plane may be diverted to land at JKIA instead of Wilson Airport, it does not mean the route will change.

This raises queries as to how the Fly Sax plane found its way into the Aberdare ranges.

The usual route preferred by most pilots is a safe corridor between the Mau Forest and the Aberdares.

It allows easy maneuver at 11000 feet above sea level, which is the the altitude that the ill-fated plane is said to have been.

The plane apparently detoured just after Nakuru into the Aberdare Forest, a route which is far off from the Nairobi-Kitale one.

This change of path only happens if there are obstacles along the way such as poor weather conditions.

Pilots are expected to return to the normal route as soon as the situation is resolved. Pundits claim that pilots should have knowledge of a route before taking off.

KCAA has since confirmed that the last contact with the flight was at 5:02pm when they were seeking clearance to start descending in readiness for landing.

Experienced pilots however estimate that the plane instruments used to guide an airplane to a destination may have failed.

This means that the pilots were unable to tell where they were and the direction they were heading to.

Another theory is that the pilots may have been diverted to an un-familiar route.

It is suspected that the flight might have been at a high speed unable to gain height to overcome Aberdare Hills.

The pilots may however have gotten lost just after Nakuru unaware of their location given the bad weather.

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe in a statement said that investigations will focus on retrieving the wreckage of the plane to determine what may have happened.

According to engineers, Cessna planes ordinarily have no blackbox that would give leads as to what may have caused the crash.