Flash-back to 8 July 2011: a Hewa Bora Airlines Boeing 727 carrying 112 passengers and crew crashed 200 m before Kisangani airport in DR Congo as it tried to land under heavy rain.
Forty-three survivors were pulled from the crashed plane, but 75 other passengers perished. The Hewa Bora licence was immediately revoked after the crash, and the airline never took the skies again.
Six years later Congolese radio station Radio Okapi reports: a group called “Justice and freedom for protection and promotion of human rights” (Justice et libération pour la défense et la promotion des droits de l’homme) claims that the family and relatives never received a compensation for their losses.
Pierre Kibaka, president of the group explains:
It is quite normal that after a crash the victims are compensated by the airline. Our brothers and sisters who died in the crash, even the ones who survived the crash didn’t receive any form of settlement.
Kibaka regrets that Hewa Bora just disappeared from the radar and that the Congolese government remains silent.
The Hewa Bora aircraft came from Kinshasa and stopped in Kisangani to go to Goma. The exact cause of the accident was never formally established.
Some people believe that the bad weather caused the drama. The assumption of a technical breakdown has always been refuted by Hewa Bora.
Stavros Papaionnou, the Hewa Bora CEO told reporters six years ago (12 July 2011) that “a mistake by air traffic control misguiding the aircraft would have caused the accident“. Mr Papaionnou promised to compensate the victims back then. Something that never happened.
A full report about the crash can be read on The Aviation Herald: http://avherald.com/h?article=43f62982 . The black boxes of the Boeing 727 have never been retrieved.
A preliminary report, dated 17 August 2011:
Still without data from the black boxes, introduced by the accident investigation commission points out:
– the flight crew misjudged weather
– the airline assigned unqualified/non-licensed crew to operate the Boeing 727-100
– tower controllers were not licensed
– tower controllers provided erroneous/false weather data
– the airport authority lacked security plans