Bukavu: A Filipino pilot and
his Congolese co-pilot were killed on Thursday when their cargo
plane crashed near Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic
of Congo, an airport source said.
The plane, a Let-410 of Czech manufacture, crashed
near Bugulumisa, 30 kilometres from Bukavu, five minutes after
take-off, said the source, who asked not to be named.
The aircraft, owned by the private Congolese company
Tracep, was heading from Bukavu to Shabunda, 180 kilometres to
the west, carrying 1.5 tonnes of food and other goods, with
only the pilot and co-pilot on board, the source added.
Air accidents are frequent in the DR Congo and all
Congolese airlines -- out of 50 that have been listed -- are
banned from flying in the airspace of the European Union.
Many aircraft are old and badly maintained, and often
overloaded when they are cargo planes. The failure to respect
security regulations also causes accidents, along with bad
The last accident was on August 25 at Bandundu in the
west, where 20 of the 21 people on board the plane were
killed. The dead included the Belgian owner of the air
company, who was flying the aircraft himself, which was also a