Accident Boeing 727-23 ZS-IJE, Thursday 22 April 1999
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Date:Thursday 22 April 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 727-23
Owner/operator:Zimbabwe Express Airlines
Registration: ZS-IJE
MSN: 18443/111
Year of manufacture:1965
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 66
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Johannesburg -   South Africa
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Harare Airport (HRE/FVHA)
Destination airport:Johannesburg International Airport (JNB/FAJS)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft was on a flight from Harare to Johannesburg International Airport, cruising at FL350 when the aircraft was cleared inbound to HBV for landing on runway 03 at Johannesburg. The aircraft then started to descend approximately 90nm from JSV when the radar indicated two small cells in the vicinity of HBV. The pilot reduced the IAS to 250 knots and maneuvered the aircraft to the east of track to avoid these cells when he experienced light turbulence as the aircraft passed abeam the cells. Approximately 10 nm after passing the cells, the pilot experienced a severe updraft with the aircraft climbing between 1500 to
2000 feet/min at FL200 an IAS of 230 knots. During the updraft however, the pilot encountered severe turbulence followed by very large hailstones for approximately 30 seconds. The aircraft then flew into VMC conditions after approximately 1 minute. According to the pilot, the Radar showed no returns to indicate any hail. The aircraft landed safely at Johannesburg without any further incident. No injuries were sustained to the crew or passengers. The aircraft was damaged beyond economical repair due to hail damage.
The Flight Engineer of the aircraft added "due to poor unreliable equipment, being the radar, no returns were painted and we penetrated what appeared to be an embedded cell.".

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Aircraft encountered severe turbulence and was subjected to severe hail damage during descent for landing at FAJS."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: J10/2/7070
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Neil Lawrence
Scramble 243


photo (c) Taiichiro Narusawa; Johannesburg International Airport (JNB); 09 March 1999

photo (c) Werner Fischdick; Johannesburg International Airport (JNB); 10 October 1998

Revision history:


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