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Cablegate: Gdrc Invites Ntsb to Assist with Air Serv

VZCZCXRO7936
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0781 2660633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220633Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8462
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0222
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1480
INFO RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000781

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION
USAID FOR OFDA: MSHIRLEY and AFR/EA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON PGOV CG
SUBJECT: GDRC INVITES NTSB TO ASSIST WITH AIR SERV
CRASH INVESTIGATION

REF: (A) KINSHASA 725;
(B) KINSHASA 349
(C) KINSHASA 367

1. (SBU) Summary: The GDRC Civil Aviation Authority (AAC) extended
an invitation verbally through Econoff for the NTSB to assist in the
investigation of the September 1 AirServ crash near Bukavu (Ref A).
The NTSB investigator hopes to bring the Flight Data Recorder back
to the U.S. for analysis as the first step in the investigation.
The AAC is also currently hosting a conference to draft proposals
for updated legislation to civil aviation code in the DRC. End
Summary.

2. (U) The Director of the GDRC Civil Aviation Authority (AAC),
Richard Nyanguile, told Econoff on September 17 that the NTSB
investigator has been invited to assist in the September 1 Air Serv
crash investigation. The investigator that has been named the
NTSB's U.S. Accredited Representative, and who is currently in
Nairobi, also assisted with the April 15 Hewa Bora crash (Refs B and
C). He expects to arrive in Kinshasa the week of September 22, and
hopes to begin the investigation by transferring the Flight Data
Recorder (FDR) to the NTSB for analysis. Nyanguile said he agrees
with the NTSB's plan of action and that the FDR is currently in
Kinshasa.

3. (SBU) The 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 had crashed on a steep slope
near Bukavu, making access to the crash site difficult. UN
peacekeepers finally reached the site on September 4 by getting
lowered from helicopters in slings. The peacekeepers helped to
evacuate all seventeen bodies and successfully recovered the FDR.
The AAC waited two weeks before inviting the NTSB, a sign the GDRC
may be wary of any reports that could further damage the DRC's
already poor aviation safety record.

4. (SBU) Nyanguile is currently hosting a conference September
18-19 to work on proposed legislation to update the Congolese civil
aviation code. Nyanguile said the DRC is using obsolete aviation
laws inherited from the colonial era. The NTSB investigator will
have the opportunity to share his views on the outcome of this
conference when he meets with the AAC.


GARVELINK

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