DALLAS – A Precision Air (PW) plane crashed into Lake Victoria while attempting to land at Bukoba Airport (BKZ) in Tanzania.
The ATR 42-500 was flying from Das es Salaam (DAR) to BKZ via Mwanza (MWZ). The aircraft is reported to have encountered severe weather approaching its final destination. Onboard were 43 people – including 39 passengers and four crew.
News reports from the scene have shown the aircraft almost fully submerged underwater, with only the green and brown-colored tail visible.
Rescuers on the Scene
Local fishermen have been assisting the rescue boats, and emergency workers are attempting to rescue anyone trapped on the aircraft. So far, twenty-six people have been pulled from the wreckage and sent to the hospital.
The local police commander, William Mwampaghale, told journalists, “We have managed to save quite a number of people. When the aircraft was about 100 meters (328 feet) in midair, it encountered problems and bad weather. It was raining, and the plane plunged into the water. Everything is under control.”
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan tweeted, “I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane. Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.”
Precision Air, partly owned by Kenya Airways, is Tanzania’s largest privately owned airline. Founded in 1993, it operates a fleet of ATR 42 and 72 turboprops.
In a statement, the airline said, “We regret to announce that Precision Air flight no. 494, operated with an ATR-42 aircraft, with 39 passengers onboard and flying from Dar es Salaam to Bukoba, has been involved in an accident as it was approaching Bukoba Airport and crash-landed in Lake Victoria. The rescue is ongoing… No death has been confirmed at the moment.”
“An investigation team consisting of Precision Air technical staff and TAA has also departed to join the rescue team on the ground,” it added.
Goma Express Let-410 Crash
A second crash was reported this week in the African continent, when a Goma Express Let-410, registration 9S-GPK, carrying two crew members on a freight flight from Kasese to Goma (DR Congo), departed Kasese at about 15:00L (13:00Z), but contact was lost. The plane never arrived in Goma or any other nearby airport.
9S-GPK was declared missing by Goma Airport after no contact or sign of life was received from the aircraft for more than 3 hours past its estimated arrival time.
On November 4, 2022, an ELT signal was received from the aircraft at position S2.0267 E28.06, approximately 75 nautical miles west-southwest of Goma.
On November 5, 2022, the first photo from the crash site surfaced, showing the wreckage among the trees (consistent with the sat photos around the ELT position).