The co-pilot involved in the 24 January fatal crash of a Gulfstream I in western Kenya was not qualified to fly the type, a witness has told a public inquiry.

The Gulfstream I, operated by Nairobi-based African Commuter Services, crashed during take-off from Busia airstrip, 400km (250 miles) west of the capital. The co-pilot died in the accident together with the captain and Kenya's labour minister. Several other passengers were seriously injured, including four other government ministers.

The inquiry heard that the co-pilot had recorded fictitious flying hours and used them to obtain a GI type rating on his licence. Earlier witnesses said the aircraft had had three previous accidents, one fatal. The inquiry also heard the GI was operating without a flight-data recorder, a mandatory requirement, and the cockpit voice recorder had not been working for eight months.

Kenya's Directorate of Civil Aviation, since renamed the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, had repeatedly renewed the maintenance company's licence without an inspection.

Source: Flight International