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CRJ Crash in Kigali, Rwanda

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001

Was there last night. Everything I heard was 2nd hand...

CRJ (reportedly a 1000) came back with technical problem. Taxied in w/ marshaller and was chocked.

Engines went to full power, and the pilots could not shut it down. Jumped the chocks, and ended up crashing into building that houses the ATC tower. 1 pax died, capt lost a leg, and female FO lost both legs.

Ambulance crashed (rolled over) on way to hospital.

The airport was closed for a couple of hours or so. It was RwandAir flight, with Jetlink markings (Jetlink has one or more planes in RwandAir markings).

The ramp is about 700m or so across. From their normal parking spot, they would've had to turn right to hit the tower building (the right turn was reported elsewhere). Emergency vehicles and lots of people still there around 2300. Fire fighters did a good job of putting out fire, or else everyone would have died.

This accident makes no sense to me:
Why couldn't the engines be shut down?
Why didn't brakes stop the aircraft?
Why did it hit the building, vs. going into grassy berm that was straight ahead?
I hope it was a mechanical fault that can be fixed on all CRJs, and not the pilots' fault!

PS-It could have been me. I tried to get hired at Jetlink. My buddy said they had a very good operation...very professional.

Airplanes don't just "go to full power". Extremely unlikely if it was FADEC equipped that both engines would malfunction this way unless a generic cock up was made by maintenance to both engines. CRJ-1000's don't exist yet, BTW.
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It was a CRJ-100. Yeah, sad to hear folks having their legs lost. Sometimes, hearing stuff likes this kinda puts it all in perspective. Even the crapiest day sure beats having no limbs. Prayers with them.

Update. Talked to someone who knows Jetlink pilots:

On takeoff, both engines accelerated to max power. Takeoff OK, but then what to do? They shut one engine down with the emergency shutoff (T-handle, or whatever they call it), and successfully landed the plane on one engine at 100%.

Taxied back, and chocked in parking spot. Engine still at 100%. Could not shut it down. Then brakes gave way, as overheated, jumped chocks, and smashed into building. Capt and FO OK...Only broken leg and broken ankle.

I injured pax was killed on way to the hospital in ambulance, and I heard from other posters; 2 other persons outside ambulance killed in ambulance accident.

I'm pretty sure that was a seriously bad decision. Get a tug and live to fly another day. But hey, also I'm pretty sure Africa is a strange place.
i got 5 years in a crj 100/200

engine fire switch would have shut it down if the thrust lever cut off did not work.

in theory anyway
I was in Rwanda over the summer, I didn't even know they had a VIP lounge. I hate to speculate, but you'd think they would have pulled the fire handle.

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