The helicopter, registered under Agusta Westland QW119 registration 5Y-NPW, was ferrying a regional security team to Marsabit when it crashed at Kaithe in Meru County on June 2020.
Among the six occupants who survived the crash were Eastern Regional County Commissioner and regional Police Chief.
The investigation report released by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) following the incident identified the probable cause of the accident as the pilotâ€™s lack of situational awareness. They further argued that the National Police Service Air Wing was to blame for not providing proper guidance on flight paths.
According to the report released by the CS, “The investigation identified the likely cause of the accident as the pilotâ€™s lack of situational awareness, and the decision to continue the flight into deteriorating weather conditions that occasioned spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of helicopter control.â€
Further investigators concluded that the helicopter crashed after it hit trees while attempting to land in heavy fog.
The plane had three occupants when it took off from Wilson Airport after which it stopped at Embu to pick three more persons. Moments later, the helicopter crashed in Meru while en route to Isiolo.
â€œThe two pilots and the four passengers were extricated from the wreckage; two with serious injuries and four with minor injuries of varying degree. There was no pre or post-impact fire, but the helicopter was damaged after colliding with trees and terrainâ€ describes the report.
The pilots struggled to take control of the aircraft as weather conditions deteriorated, hoping they would break through the clouds to gain clearer vision.
â€œWithin a short time, they were engulfed in clouds and decided to approach and make a landing in another location identified suitable for landing, with better but deteriorating visibility.
He additionally indicated that though he avoided the cables, the main rotors of the helicopter contacted the trees that led to severe vibrations in the cabin. The helicopter collided with two other trees before it impacted the ground and came to rest on its starboard with the main rotor blades impacting the terrain while still rotatingâ€ the report adds.