Accident Boeing 737-8AL 5Y-KYA, Saturday 5 May 2007
ASN logo

Date:Saturday 5 May 2007
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-8AL
Owner/operator:Kenya Airways
Registration: 5Y-KYA
MSN: 35069/2079
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:2100 hours
Cycles:734 flights
Engine model:CFMI CFM56-7B26
Fatalities:Fatalities: 114 / Occupants: 114
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:5,5 km SE of Douala Airport (DLA) -   Cameroon
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Douala Airport (DLA/FKKD)
Destination airport:Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO/HKJK)
Investigating agency: CCAA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Boeing 737-800 passenger plane, registered 5Y-KYA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Douala Airport (DLA), Cameroon. All 108 passengers and six crew members were killed in the accident.
The airplane was operated by Kenya Airways as flight KQ507 from Abidjan Airport (ABJ), Ivory Coast to Nairobi (NBO), Kenya via Douala (DLA), Cameroon. The flight from Abidjan to Douala was reportedly conducted without incident.
The flight arrived about 22:00 hours local time, May 4. The scheduled departure time of 23:00 was delayed due to weather which consisted of thunderstorms with heavy rain showers. When the weather improved, flight 507 taxied to runway 12. The aircraft took off and climbed into the dark night. There were no external visual references, yet no instrument scanning was done by the crew. At 1000 feet climbing, the pilot flying released the flight controls for 55 seconds without having engaged the autopilot. The bank angle of the airplane increased continuously by itself very slowly up to 34 degrees right and the captain appeared unaware of the airplane’s changing attitude.
Just before the "Bank Angle" warning sounds, the captain grabbed the controls, appeared confused about the attitude of the airplane, and made corrections in an erratic manner increasing the bank angle to 50 degrees right.
At about 50 degrees bank angle, the autopilot was engaged and the inclination tended to stabilize; then movements of the flight controls by the pilot resumed and the bank angle increased towards 70 degrees right. A prolonged right rudder input brought the bank angle to beyond 90 degrees. The airplane descended in a spiral dive and crashed into a mangrove swamp.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The airplane crashed after loss of control by the crew as a result of spatial disorientation (non recognized or subtle type transitioning to recognized spatial disorientation), after a long slow roll, during which no instrument scanning was done, and in the absence of external visual references in a dark night.
Inadequate operational control, lack of crew coordination, coupled with the non-adherence to procedures of flight monitoring, confusion in the utilization of the AP, have also contributed to cause this situation."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CCAA
Report number: Final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 11 months
Download report: Final report


Kenya Airways press release
Kenya Airways plane crashes in Cameroon: radio (AP, 5-5-2007)
Reconstructing the last moments of Kenya Airways Flight 507 (AP, 12-5-2007)
Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority press release


  • 2nd worst accident in 2007
  • 5th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Tom Lo; London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL); 29 October 2006

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314