Safarilink Dash 8 Crashes After Hitting Wildebeest

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Yesterday, we reported that a Ural Airlines Airbus A321 crashed into a cornfield following a bird strike involving multiple gulls. However, today we have another animal-related aircraft incident, as a Dash 8 has crashed after losing an argument with some wildebeest.

Wildebeest, Safarilink, Dash 8
A Dash 8 crashed after colliding with a couple of wildebeest. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia (Airplane) | Pixabay (Wildebeest)

Earlier today, a Dash 8 belonging to the company Safarilink crashed while landing at the Kichwa Tembo Airstrip in Maasai Mara. The aircraft was en route from Nairobi Wilson. Safarilink’s aircraft crashed when it hit some wildebeest upon landing. While the number of animals hit is unconfirmed, photos circulated show at least two wildebeest suffered in the collision.

The flight

As the aircraft was flying outside of ADS-B coverage, it is unclear exactly what path it took to get to Maasai Mara and the exact timings. We do, however, know that the aircraft was flying from Nairobi Wilson to Massai Mara. According to the Aviation Herald, the aircraft was landing in Massai Mara at around 11:00 local time.

While nothing out of the ordinary is reported to have happened for the bulk of the flight, the flight became slightly out of the ordinary when it was landing at Massai Mara. According to Safarilink, a couple of wildebeest ran across the runway just as the Dash 8 was coming in to land on the grass strip.

Thankfully, apart from the unfortunate wildebeest, there were no injuries or fatalities in today’s accident. While the aircraft is disabled, Safarilink says it has engineers on the site to assess the situation.

Photos from the scene showed that the left main landing gear had been ripped off as a result of the collision. Due to the loss of the left gear, the aircraft came to a rest at around a 25-degree angle. Because of this, the left-hand propellor made contact with the ground, also suffering damage.

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A statement released by the airline involved via Twitter read the following,

“We have been informed that our Dash 8 aircraft registered as 5Y-SLM has been involved in an incident whilst landing at the Kichwa Tembo Airstrip, Maasai Mara.

“The initial report we have is that a couple of Wildebeests ran across the runway as the aircraft landed. We are thankful to confirm all passengers and crew on board the aircraft are safe and there are no injuries or fatalities. The aircraft is disabled and we have dispatched other aircraft to take engineers, and company staff to the site to further assess the situation.”

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What do you make of this unfortunate accident involving Wildebeest and a Dash 8? Let us know in the comments.

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