Plane hits power pole in Lamu

Police have launched an investigation into an incident where a light aircraft crashed into an electricity power pole in Kiunga, Lamu East on Saturday.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia told the Nation on Sunday that the private aircraft of – 5Y-BAF, Cesna 310 – was about to land at the Kiunga Airstrip at around 2.10pm but the pilot miscalculated, leading to the mishap.

“There was a private aircraft that hit an electric power pole at Kiunga. It’s like the pilot miscalculated since the aircraft touched the runway at a shorter distance ranging about 700 metres,” said Mr Macharia.

He added that the pilot turned the plane to the left side crashing into a nearby power pole which stopped it.


The pilot, Joseph Mativo Sallya, managed to get out of the aircraft unhurt.

A police report seen by the Nation also indicated that the aircraft had its left wing body joint, right wing part and one of the right side propellers damaged.

The plane was carrying 500 kilogrammes of miraa which was to be delivered at Kiunga from Isiolo Airport.

The plane belongs to My.Kenya Company stationed in Isiolo.

Mr Macharia also confirmed that the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft had been arrested and is being held at the Kiunga Police Station for further interrogations since his travelling documents are unclear.

“The pilot claimed to have an authorisation document that allowed him to come to Kiunga. As per our investigations, we found that he didn’t have even the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) clearance certificate for the same. He also didn’t have the cargo permit to allow him to ferry miraa to this place. He’s being held for further interrogation. We’ve also confiscated the cargo. The scene has been secured for investigations in relation to the accident. We’re waiting for the air accident department to come and assess the situation,” said Mr Macharia.


This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in Lamu.

In September 2012, a private light aircraft crashed near Manda Naval Base in Lamu and killed three people including two Kenyan military personnel.

The reconnaissance plane which was headed to an unknown destination crashed upon take-off from Manda Naval Base airstrip.

In August, 2014, two people escaped unhurt after a small passenger plane crashed a few seconds after take-off at Manda Bay Island in Lamu County.

The plane was damaged.

In November, 2014, two people escaped death narrowly after a private plane they were in crashed at the Manda Airport.

The plane was said to have developed technical problems forcing it to make a landing at one of the airport’s runways that was still under construction.

The two occupants, a white couple, were in Lamu for their honeymoon.

They escaped with minor injuries.

In August, 2019, a Fly540 pilot was forced to abort take-off after realising one of the plane’s tyres was stuck in a pothole on the runway at the Manda Airport in Lamu.

The 36 scared passengers aboard the Nairobi-bound plane disembarked with no injuries.

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