Mogadishu, Somalia –
Somalia’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation conducted initial investigations into the aircraft accident at Aden Adde International Airport on 11 July. According to the Director General, Bashir Moalim, the cause of the accident was identified as wind shear at the landing area.
Emphasising its dedication to passenger safety, Mr Moalim expressed his office’s commitment to conducting a comprehensive and transparent investigation, adhering to international standards.
In a harrowing incident from 11 July, a passenger plane operated by Halla Airlines crash-landed at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport. Upon landing at Runway 05, the aircraft from Garowe, Puntland’s capital, veered off the runway. The aircraft reportedly hit a fence and detached the cockpit, with a wheel breaking off the plane. Several passengers sustained injuries, but no fatalities were reported.
Wind shear, blamed for causing the accident, is characterised as “a change in wind speed and/or direction over a short distance,” according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “It can occur either horizontally or vertically and is most often associated with strong temperature inversions or density gradients.”
Somalia’s poor aviation record
The 11 July incident serves as a stark reminder of the prevailing safety concerns in Somalia’s aviation industry. The country has long grappled with ageing air fleets and inadequate aviation regulations, contributing to a high frequency of accidents.
Last year in July, a Jubba Airways plane encountered a similar fate, flipping over upon landing at the capital’s airport. Thankfully, all 36 passengers on board survived the incident, with only three passengers suffering minor injuries. The aircraft was en route from Baidoa to Mogadishu.
In 2013, an Antonov An-24 aircraft operated by the Ethiopian Air Force crashed during its landing attempt at the Mogadishu airport. Subsequent investigations concluded that the accident resulted from pilot error, as the flight crew failed to follow the correct landing procedures.
Not all media outlets reported the accident accurately. Ethio Today attempted to disinform the public when it posted photos allegedly from the accident site. While two images displayed the affected Halla Airlines aircraft, the third one showed the more dramatically looking Jubba Airways accident from July 2022. Facebook tagged the post as including “Partly false information”.
Apart from the fake photo, the Amharic text accompanying the post also mentioned that most of the 30 passengers onboard suffered physical injuries, which has also been proven untrue. The fact-check was conducted by PesaCheck, Africa’s fact-checking initiative, which clarified that the Halla Airlines crash is unrelated to the photo posted by Ethio Today.