Precision Air flight PW494 was operated with an ATR42-500 (registration 5H-PWF) from Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam for a scheduled commercial passenger flight to Bukoba on 06-11-2022.
Weather at destination Bukoba airport was poor and last part of the approach of Precision Air flight PW494 was flown visually.
The airplane approached Bukoba airport at time 05:19 UTC, started configuration of the airplane to land selecting Flaps to 15 and landing gear down. There was a discussion between the two pilots if to approach the airport from the seaside or from the mountains.
At the same time The crew also started a discussion about the minimum fuel required for diversion from Bukoba to Mwanza. The approach was not successful and F/O suggested a diversion to Mwanza would be appropriate but the go-around was continued. The PIC instructed the F/O to go to Kemondo waypoint and try again. This was followed by a Public Address (PA) from the PIC to inform the passengers that they could not land at Bukoba due to heavy rain and they had to wait until the weather improved. If not, they would proceed to Mwanza.
At 0534:43 hours there was an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) warning “TERRAIN, TERRAIN PULL UP”, however the warning was not followed by corrective action of the crew.
The crew continued to discuss about the weather and were informed by Bukoba load control that weather information had been transmitted to Mwanza Approach. The advise from Mwanza approach was to wait for 20 minutes before landing as visibility was not good. The crew continued to encounter storms and heavy rain as they proceeded to Kemondo. The second approach was started, First Officer was pilot flying. At 0542:59, at around 900ft Radio Altitude (RA) and at approximately 1.5 Nautical Miles (NM) from the runway threshold, the PIC said he had the runway in sight and he took control from F/O. At 0543:01 hours the autopilot was disengaged. Power levers were moved backwards to 38 degrees (flight idle position) The flight continued towards the runway and 3 subsequent GPWS “SINK RATE” cautions were triggered, while the vertical speed was constantly descending between 1500 and 1700 feet per minute.
The F/O started to call ’’Lift up Captain’’ with no reaction by the Pilot in Command. A last EGPWS warning (“SINK RATE PULL UP”) was triggered and the rate of descent decreased to 1,500 ft/min. There was no reaction from the PIC. At 0543:38 the F/O shouted: “Pull up captain” and the aircraft impacted the water. The impact with water occurred at this time while the aircraft was descending at 1,500 feet per minute and the FDR recorded pilot control column effort of above 10 daN in the nose up direction. At this stage (preliminary report) the cause and contributing factor are still not stated by the ministry of works and transport of Tanzania. The initial findings pertinent to the Precision Air flight PW494 accident are listed os follows:
- There is no evidence to suggest the flight crew were not fit and healthy prior to the flight.
- The aircraft had valid Registration, Airworthiness and Release to Service Certificates, and the required scheduled maintenance had been completed.
- The weather at Bukoba was not favourable in that eventful time.
- The VFR approach was conducted in a very poor and adverse weather during the last phase of the flight.
- The crew did not react from the EGPWS warnings
- The aircraft struck the surface of the lake in a left wing low and nose-dive attitude.
- The impact with the water was consistent with high energy impact.
- The aircraft flight control responses are consistent with the flight crew inputs