The American Government has agreed on Liberia's request to give technical assistance into investigations surrounding the February 11, 2013 plane crash near the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County that killed Guinea's Armed Forces Chief General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo and others, while leading an 11-member delegation to Monrovia for the celebration of the 56th Armed Forces Day of Liberia.
The crash in Charlesville, outside the Roberts International Airport (RIA) killed all eleven passengers onboard the aircraft marked CASA235, including crew members.
Liberia's Transport Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, told journalists in Monrovia Thursday that in keeping with the country's responsibility as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LAA) will lead the investigation of the crash.
Upon the instruction of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Minister Nagbe said he has already requested the United States Government through its National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) to provide the Liberian Government technical assistance.
"The Americans have responded positively and have seconded one expert to form part of the accident investigation," Nagbe said.
He told reporters that the NTSB has also agreed to make available its facilities in Washington DC for the decoding/reading of the contents of the Flight Data Recorder (Black Box). According to him, a nine-member Guinean delegation is expected in Liberia today Friday, March 1, 2013 in connection with the investigation.
Early on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, the corpses of General Diallo and the other 10 victims were flown home to the Guinean Capital Conakry, under full escort by Liberian Government authorities headed by Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai, Jr and the Guinean Ambassador to Liberia.
Following the incident, the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) said the pilot of the 3XGGG-CASA 235 aircraft that was bringing the Guinean delegation to Monrovia received clearance to land within 4 nautical miles at runway 04, at the Roberts International Airport.
According tothe LCAA said the fuel endurance of the aircraft was estimated at 500hrs, while the wind was reported calm with the air pressure recorded at 1010 hectopascals. TheLCAA, at exactly 0710 hours, the control tower of the airport noticed black smoke at runway 04 and immediately attempted contacting the aircraft, but it proved negative.
An LCAA statement released here disclosed that at 0712hrs, the control tower declared full emergency, sending its rescue fire service into standby position.
However, the situation was already out of control as the aircraft suddenly crash landed outside the RIA and burst in flames, killing all occupants onboard.