What you need to know:
- The aircraft plunged into the sea as it was about to land, with the authorities saying the fate of the 14 people on board could not be immediately established
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) yesterday said it was working closely with the Comoros Civil Aviation Authority to investigate the cause of the plane accident that crashed off the Comoros on Saturday, February 26.
The accident involved a light aircraft - a Cessna Caravan registered in Tanzania and owned by a firm based in Zanzibar.
The TCAA director general, Mr Hamza Johari, told The Citizen that the regulator was about to send a team of experts to the Comoros, ready for detailed investigation.
The aircraft plunged into the sea as it was about to land, with the authorities saying the fate of the 14 people on board could not be immediately established.
After completion of the investigation of the accident, Mr Johari said, the report would be used for further action.
“Plane accidents are very rare. If findings show that the accident was caused by human error, appropriate action will follow,” said Mr Johari without going into details of the kind of measures to be taken.
Captain Mohammed Mazrui, whose firm, Fly Zanzibar Limited, owned the aircraft, told The Citizen on Sunday that the plane was leased to a Comorian carrier, and was flying from the capital Moroni to the city of Fomboni when the accident occurred.
The aircraft had 12 passengers and two crew on-board, with the Comoros government saying the passengers were Comorian and the two pilots were Tanzanian.
Credible sources say one of the pilots is a close relative of Captain Mazrui.
Captain Mazrui, who is the director and chief pilot at Fly Zanzibar, said the accident occurred while the plane was leased to AB Aviation, a private airline based in the Comoros.
AB Aviation said the plane disappeared from radar about 2.5 kilometres from its destination, with the cause of the accident still unknown.
Reports said rescuers in the Comoros were looking for survivors, but their work was being hampered by unfavourable weather.
The island nation’s transport ministry said debris believed to be of the aircraft had been found.