The technical details of the aircraft that crashed in Ngong and Killed former Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode were not known until late last week, the commission probing the crash heard yesterday. The commission yesterday was told that the Kenya Civil Aviation and Eurocopter South Africa were last week communicating through email on the key components of the plane.
A senior KCA airworthiness inspector Kingsley Ongaya, who also inspected the ill-fated aircraft before it was bought, told the commission chaired by Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal that he had emailed Eurocopter South Africa last week to get details, especially a list of the make and parts of avionics and equipment installed on the aircraft.
He said he first wrote to Sean Murphy of Eurocopter on August 10 to details on how and where the ill-fated chopper was assembled. Kingsley was the appointed KCAA official who carried out both inspections of the aircraft in South Africa and in Kenya.
During yesterday cross examination by State Counsel Lucy Kambuni, Ongaya read some of the emails to the commission in which he sought information on the ill-fated aircraft. In an email on Monday this week, Eurocopter provided information on the assembling of the aircraft and promised to send more details. Ongaya admitted that he certified the aircraft for airworthiness without understanding key recommendations.
Responding to questions from one of the commissioners Captain Peter Maranga, the witness said he did not understand issues such as artificial horizon, stabilisers, flight test report which is important in issuing certificate of airworthiness. He said he issued the satisfactory score for the aircraft to be registered.
Ongayo was also cross examined on whether he checked the low level flight, power check and how he arrived at the satisfactory score. He said the filling in was supposed to have been done by the pilot who might have tested the pilot. The witness admitted that he was in possession of the engine log book from France which he used for the first inspection in South Africa.
He said the aircraft was new at the time he was inspecting it in August last year since the documents indicated that it had been assembled in France two months earlier and Eurocopter SA completed the assembling in November of the same year. During the inspection, Ongaya said he was given the logbook during the inspection to check and confirm the aircraft's engine and serial number.