May 28, 2009 – An Armenian cargo aircraft identified as Antonov 24
(AN-24) crashed as it flew off course of the runway at Dire Dawa Airport
early last week.
Early in the morning last Monday, May 18, 2009, the airplane rented from
the East European country for six months to transport about 2,000tn of
chat from Dire Dawa to Bosaso, Somaliland, went off the runway as it was
about to takeoff, officials from the air port disclosed.
The AN-24 aircraft has been operating for over 12 years, frequently
working at Dire Dawa Airport and with the Sura, a travel agency in Dire
Dawa Town Administration.
According to the accounts of eyewitnesses, even though the aircraft was
seriously damaged, the accident did not claim any lives, or cause
serious injuries. Nevertheless, the crew sustained minor injuries and
were taken to a nearby hospital in Dire Dawa.
Officials at the airport said that after undergoing a series of
electromechanical checkups and maintenance, the aircraft would be able
to get back on the runway.
The AN-24 aircraft crashed in the foggy morning weather last Monday,
The maximum speed and the cruising speed of the aircraft are 500km/h and
450km/h, respectively. The service ceiling of the AN-24 is 9,000m where
as it needs a 640m runaway for take-off and 645m for landing.
The AN-24 aircraft is designed to operate in rough weather and on
unprepared airports in remote locations. The 23.53m long and 8.32m high
airplane has a wing span of 29.20m.The spinning blades protect engines
from debris. The plane does not require sophisticated ground equipment
for maintenance, according to airport officials.
At the time of the accident, the aircraft had four crew - the pilot, the
co-pilot, the operator and the navigator.
The AN-24 was produced between 1959-1979 in the Soviet Union and has a
maximum load carrying capacity of 5,500Kg for cargo and 50 passengers.
By MERGA YONAS
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
Source: Addis Fortune - May 25, 2009
Sources: Times database, Committee to Protect Journalists