Congo’s Hewa Bora Airways, Flight 952 Crashes Killing 82 Onboard


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Congo’s Hewa Bora Airways, Flight 952 Crashes Killing 82 Onboard

By Mike Mitchell

June 11, 2011 - On Friday a Boeing 727 operated by Hewa Bora Airways, Flight 952, crashed on landing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Latest reports indicate that of the 127 onboard 82 did not survive the crash. Many of the surviving passengers received severe burns.

The Boeing 727 was originally headed from the capital of Kinshasa to the eastern city of Goma with a scheduled stop in Kisangani. Flight 952 was on approach in heavy rain to Kisangani airport when it attempted to land, the aircraft crashed in a wooded area.

Kisangani is a city lying at the central heart of Africa’s great rainforests. It is the 3rd largest urbanized city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the largest of cities that lie in the tropical woodlands of the Congo. It is the provincial capital of Tshopo.

The languages most spoken at home by the population in the city are Swahili and Lingala, followed by French. The official language of Kisangani is French as defined by the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Some 1,300 miles from the mouth of the Congo River, the city of Kisangani is the farthest navigable point upstream. Kisangani is the nation’s major inland port after Kinshasa, an important commercial hub point for river and land transportation and a major marketing and distribution centre for the north-eastern part of the country. It has been the commercial capital of the northern Congo since the late 19th century.

Hewa Bora Airways is an airline based in Barumbu, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of Congo's largest airlines and operates regional and domestic services. Its main base is Kinshasa International Airport. "Hewa Bora" is Swahili for "Fresh Air".

The airline is on the European Commission's list of airlines banned within the European Union due to a history of maintenance and security issues with their aircraft. In 2008 a DC-9 crashed in Goma, killing 44. This central African country has one of the worst air safety records in the world.

On April 15, 2008, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 122 crashed into a residential and market area of Goma of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 40 people were killed, among them 3 passengers; there were 111 injured, including 40 passengers. Hewa Bora Airways employs ove 1,000 employees.


The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced. The 727's sales record for the most jet airliners ever sold was broken in the early 1990s by its younger stablemate, the Boeing 737.


The Boeing Company has offered their heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of those lost in Fridays, and whished for a speedy recovery of those injured. Boeing reported that they stand ready to provide technical assistance to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

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