32 Killed as Plane Hits Houses in Congo

IOL News, December 1, 2012

A cargo plane crashed into houses near Brazzaville Maya-Maya airport while attempting to land in a thunderstorm on Friday, killing at least 32 people, a Congolese Red Cross official said on Saturday.

“We have already pulled 32 bodies from the crash site, but there could be more victims,” the official said, asking not to be named. The official said the dead included six crew members.

The Soviet-made Ilyushin-76 cargo plane, operated by local carrier Trans Air Congo was travelling from Pointe-Noire, the commercial capital of the Central African state. It crashed into more than a dozen houses near the airport.

Congo Republic, like its neighbour the Democratic Republic of Congo and many countries in the region, has one of the world’s poorest aviation safety records due to poor maintenance and the use of old planes banned from other skies.

In March 2011, another Soviet-made Antonov cargo plane, operated by the same company, crashed into houses in Pointe-Noire while attempting to land, killing 23.

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  • Oil Can Harry

    Whaddya mean airplanes worked on by African mechanics are most likely to crash?

    And why does the article say African blacks fly outdated planes from the Soviet era? Aren’t they smart enough to build their own planes?

    But I thought the races were equal!

    • Nicholai Hel

      I’ve flown on Antonovs. They are sound airframes.

      • The Verdict of History

        Gee wiz.

        I’m never one to celebrate tragedy…

        but … all this time I thought that Sub-Saharan Africans could fly….

      • Jesse_from_Sweden

        I read somewhere that something like 2% of all air traffic in the world is in Africa, but that 25% of air traffic accidents are in Africa.

        And russian aircrafts have a much worse accident ratio than western aircraft.
        But when they look at air traffic accidents in Russia, they are no higher than that in the west.

        Russian aircrafts are indeed sound, russians build them simple and reliable, which also means cheap, especially since they skimp on things like comfort and fuel efficiency and the like.

        And cheap means they get bought by nations who care more about price than anything else, and that means Africa.

        So russian aircrafts higher incident rate is because a majority of aircrafts in Africa tend to be russian.
        Especially so for the worst african countries like Congo.

        South Africa was probably the only sub-saharan country with a decent air traffic incident rate, but that rate has been taking a turn for the worst over the last couple of years.
        Can’t imagine why.

        Maybe it has something to do with the white staff and white mechanics being replaced by black ones.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      The Ilyushin Il-76 is a decent plane if I recall correctly. It’s a four-jet freighter with a rear ramp door. I think it was introduced in the mid 1970s, which doesn’t exactly make it “outdated”.

      • i am


        Old doesn’t mean outdated. The Lockheed C-130 has been around since December 1957 (according to Wikipedia). The Douglas DC-3 has been around since 1935 and still works great, but they are more of a collectors item now, so they aren’t used much.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          The only gripe against the C-130 Hercules is the payload limit of about 20 tons, which excludes main battle tanks. The rationale for the C-17 was the desire for a freighter with a ramp door that would have the payload of the C-5 and the rough-field capability of the C-130.

          The Hercules is a good bird, and the number of operators are truly legion. We frequently see them overhead here (Colorado Springs).

        • toldev

          The DC-3 is still used by Buffalo Airways and has a good safety record. It is used in extreme northern Canada and is valued due to its ability to take off and land almost anywhere and it holds up in cold winter conditions.

          • Laager

            Due to the arms embargo in the 70s and 80s the South African Air Force built up the largest fleet of flying DC3s / C47s in the world. Many are still flying today and most are being re-engined with turbines. The air frames are still good for many years.


    I’m really surprised that many more of them aren’t falling out of the sky.

    • Bill

      If they are waiting for Superman to fall out of the sky, it’s gonna be a long wait. Like never. What do you expect from a country wherein all the males have had sex with an animal at least once in his life? And most many more times than that? Pondering that fact, it occurs to me that “you are what you mate with” is a more true guide than you are what you eat. And it even applies to our race mixing whites. If you mate with an ape, you are an ape.

  • C_C_Conrad
  • Howard W. Campbell

    Maybe Trans Air Congo learned about Airline operations from the movie “Soul Plane”.


  • Sloppo

    Here is the US, diversity is our greatest strength, but the diversity in Congo is about 97% so I’m surprised that they have any problems at all. This news story must be wrong.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Explanation: the atmosphere is racist.

    • Some Guy

      Gravity be raysiss!

  • IstvanIN

    I thought all black pilots were like the guy in “Flight”© movie?

    • OlderWoman

      or “Red Tails’.

    • Jefferson

      Hollywood overestimates how smart the Black race is.

  • StillModerated

    Another plane crash in the Congo? Oh, the horror. What was the excuse this time? A loose crocodile, or did a witch doctor steal the pilot’s penis?

    Here’s an amusing little site that leans toward political incorrectness.


    • Lou406

      Unamused’s series on the Congo immediately came to mind when I saw this story. From what I recall it would appear that planes falling from the sky are the least of their problems. Now they’ve got Ben Affleck calling attention to their plight.
      Those Congolese just can’t get a break.

  • toldev

    Bantus must not fly airplanes any better than they drive.

    Years ago I moved from a vibrant area to an unvibrant area. I called my car insurance agent to give him my new address. He told me that my premium dropped by almost half. I asked him why?

    He said ” You are in a new zip code”
    I said “So?”
    He said “In the zip code you were in, there are a lot of cars with curb feelers and gold spinners. Those kind of cars get into a lot of accidents and they are rarely insured. That drives up your rates.”

    • StillModerated

      So, insurance companies are allowed to discriminate? Well, that’s good.

  • Whirlwinder

    How about pilot error. I am going to say that the aircraft is not at fault.

  • josh

    I bet Jamie Foxx doesnt fly Congo Airlines. Pity.