Nairobi, Kenya - A Kenyan investigation team has blamed French aircraft maker, Eurocopter, for the poor maintenance of a Police aircraft which crashed in June 2012, killing internal security minister George Saitoti, his deputy, Orwa Ojode, and all four others on board.
Kenya's Deputy Chief Justice-designate, Kalpana Rawal, who headed the government probe, said Thursday the aircraft was maintained by an unauthorized representative, who installed poor quality spares.
A South African representative was reported to have advised the government that although certain engine parts were faulty, the aircraft could still make 200 nautical miles before replacement.
'Eurocopter allowed the use of a prototype machine part on an operational aircraft,' Rawal told journalists in Nairobi.
President Mwai Kibaki set up the Commission of Inquiry into the cause of the air accident that killed the minister and his police bodyguards.
The team concluded that the crash was caused by engine failure and human factors, including the failure by the aircraft crew to take control of the aircraft in poor weather.
'There were less than standard practices. Human beings do have a certain limitation. In this flight, the threats were caused by the crew. They lacked certain qualification that was required to fly in the poor weather conditions,' said Captain Peter Maranga, an inquiry Commissioner.
The report also blamed the Kenya Police Air wing of lacking the capacity, including lack of training in air safety management and air worthiness.
'A glaring irregularity was committed by Eurocopter which installed a prototype Vehicle Engine Monitoring Display (VEMD) on 4 December, 2011,' Rawal said.
The team said the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) should send a protest note to the European Aviation Safety Authority on the basis that the parts installed on the aircraft should not have been used.
Meanwhile, the probe team has warned it could not reach a conclusion into the cause of Saitoti and Ojode's death.
'An opportunity was lost to the Commission to determine whether the cause of death was due to carbon monoxide, traumatic injuries, fire injuries or a combination of any of these,' Rawal said.