The helicopter that crashed in Ngong in June was not registered in South Africa at the time of inspection. An employee of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority who inspected and okayed the purchase of the copter yesterday said he was instructed to do so by his manager, Nicholas Muhoya.
Kingsley Lumumba Ongaya, a senior air worthiness inspector, said he carried out an inspection last year and another in Nairobi on January 17 this year. He told the commission investigating the crash that killed Minister Saitoti that he was in Johannesburg on another assignments when his superior called him to inspect the new chopper.
The witness was, however, stood down from the witness box and familiarise the subject of the proceedings to save time. The commission chaired by Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal said he was taking a long time to answer the questions by lead counsel. He earlier told the commission that he was paid his per diem by KCAA.
The authority is alleged to have received the cash from Eurocopter South Africa. Ongaya was in South Africa to inspect maintenance approved facilities for Eurocopter and two other companies. "I carried out inspection of the aircraft using the rotor craft check list form. I did a physical inspection of the aircraft," said Ongaya
The witness said he looked at the items listed on the aircraft and gave a satisfactory score. He said he concluded that the aircraft did exist and was eligible for registration in Kenya. After the inspection, the witness said he recommended that the aircraft be registered. Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness was done after the witness inspected the aircraft on January 17.
Ongaya told the commission that he also used a rotor craft check list to carry out the inspection in Kenya. Witnesses at the commission have indicated that forms provided for verification indicated that missing documents such engine log book, propeller documents, APU and flight manual were to be availed at a later date. The hearing resumes this morning