A Silverstone Air Fokker 50 plane veered off the runway and crashed in Mogadishu, Somalia this morning. The plane was being operated by Somalia’s Saacid Airlines after being wet-leased from Kenya’s low cost airline, Silverstone Air.
The aircraft with registration number 5Y-MHT and performing a freight flight from Mogadishu to Beledweyne (Somalia) with 4 crew members on board, went off the runway while landing in Mogadishu and collided with a concrete fence. The plane was declared a total loss as it was damaged beyond repair.
Silverstone Air has been under intense scrutiny about their air safety records due to the crash of numerous planes in the airline’s fleet. The alarming safety record forced The British Foreign Ministry to warn its citizens to be vigilant when taking domestic flights in Kenya in 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) indicated that there is an ongoing investigations and audit of Silverstone Air and as such, precautions need to be headed when booking flights within the country.
“If you plan to charter a private aircraft, check with the company’s Safety Pilot about the condition of the aircraft and runways to be used. If the company has no Safety Pilot, find another company that does,” FCO said.
The FCO also raised safety concerns regarding a lack of security checks at Wilson Airport for domestic flights in Kenya. The alarming travel advisory alert from the FCO comes after a string of crashes involving Silverstone Air planes in the country.
On October 28, 2019, a Silverstone Air Dash 8 plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Eldoret International Airport after a landing gear tire fell off while the aircraft was mid-air in flight. The aircraft had four passengers onboard with two crews and was servicing a flight from Nairobi to Lodwar. No injuries were reported in this incidence.
A month prior, another plane from the same airline veered off the runway at Wilson Airport, Nairobi and crashed. The plane was flying from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi to the coastal town of Lamu. After the incidence, all passengers and crew disembarked as safety officials examined the plane to ascertain the cause of the crash.
|Kenya||Eldoret||Eldoret International Airpot|
|Kenya||Kisumu||Kisumu International Airport|
|Kenya||Mombasa||Moi International Airport|
|Kenya||Nairobi||Wilson Airport (HUB)|
According to their website, Silverstone Air flies to eight destinations domestically including its hub at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. The other destinations serviced by Silverstone Air includes Eldoret, Ukunda, Mombasa, Kisumu, Malindi, Lamu and Lodwar.
|Type of Aircraft||Number in Fleet||Maximum Passenger Capacity|
|Bombardier CRJ 100 ER (F)||1|
|Bombardier Dash 8-300||3||50|
|Bombardier Dash 8-100||2||37|
|Total in Fleet||11|
For services to the above destinations, Silverstone Air uses all 11 aircraft in its fleet. The fleet includes a combination of the Fokker 50 and Bombardier Dash 8 planes. The airline has one Bombardier CRJ 100 aircraft as well.