Plane Crashes into Lake Victoria trying to Land.
Date: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 9:16 AM
Subject: Aviation in Africa (from a Boeing operator in
Africa who reviewed the accident)
For those of you unfamiliar with African geography, Lake
Victoria is a vast lake about the size of one of the USA's Great
Lakes. It is an enormous body of inland water in the southeastern part
In northwestern Tanzania at the lower end of Lake Victoria
is Mwanza, a small port city, with a long but narrow runway. A few years
back a DC-8 crashed trying to land here and the remains are scattered in
various places around the airport. But that's another story.
In February 2000,
at about 8 pm in the dark, an Arabian-registered B707 cargo aircraft was
landing to pick up a load of fish. On the first approach the airport lost power and lost all
its lights (a routine experience here), so the pilot had to
go-around until the back-up generators got the lights on.
On the second approach he was much too far to the right
and almost took out the small terminal and control tower. The
pilot pulled back in the air for a third try.
On the third try, the pilot approached the runway from
over the lake with no visual reference. Noting the airplane was
dangerously off-target, the control tower called to the pilot,
”You are too low, pull up," to which the Captain replied,
”Don't worry, I know what I am doing!”
About 3 miles short of the runway, he hit the water, tore
off all 4 engines and gear, but miraculously did not puncture the
battery power and the taxi light on, the crew were picked up by a
fishing boat with no reported injuries.
The following day, the plane was still afloat, so a tug
towed it to shallow water near the airport, where it will probably be a
beacon for many years.
Or perhaps the pilot simply thought he was supposed to
pick up the load of fish in the middle of the lake.
The report said the accident appeared to be a combination of poor pilot
skills (or lack of skills), spatial disorientation due to night
conditions, flight over water without visual references, and total
inattention to navigation equipment.
My guess is he was just plain stupid.
The story of the crazy plane crash wraps up this page. However
we have another page for you to visit titled "Darwin
Revisited". We explore the ideas of Darwinism and
the possibility that Society may have placed too large a safety net
under the stupid people of the Earth, seriously undermining the
quality of humanity's gene pool.
However, before you visit the Darwin Page, I have a
Am I just having a bad month or do you
agree innocent people everywhere are endangered on a daily basis by
idiots who commit incredible acts of inconceivable stupidity and
Am I irrationally paranoid or do you agree my heightening
fear is based on reality?? Let me know so I can seek if
Do you have other stories of massive stupidity you wish to
Send your replies to Rick Archer, firstname.lastname@example.org