A plane belonging to a regional operator based in Nairobi has crashed at Ugas Khalif Airport in Beledweyne.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-8-400, turboprop plane operated by Bluebird Aviation crashed during landing with three occupants – two pilots and one ground engineer – who have survived the accident.
The aircraft is destroyed and unsalvageable.
The flight crew are expected to remain within Somalia and meet with Somali Civil Aviation authorities to investigate the accident, as per aviation regulations.
HOL contacted Somalia’s Director of Civil Aviation, Ahmed Moalin Hassan, who said that the plane, registration number 5Y-VVU, was charted by the US Department of Defense in support of the AMISOM mission near the area. He added that the flight manifest suggested that the plane was carrying food supplies.
The Civil Aviation Director added that the airport in Beledweyne is now temporarily closed.
A separate source close to the investigation had told HOL that the plane was travelling with another Bluebird Aviation cargo plane before it crashed. The second plane was redirected to Mogadishu.
This is the fourth aviation accident in Somalia in the last four months.