Kenyan investigators are probing a mid-air collision involving a De Havilland Dash 8-300 operated by regional carrier Safarilink Aviation.

Safarilink states that the crew of its domestic flight 053 – from Nairobi Wilson airport to the coastal destination of Diani on 5 March – experienced a “loud bang” shortly after take-off.

It identifies the aircraft as 5Y-SLK, which was originally delivered to Air Nostrum in 2001.

Safarilink says the turboprop sustained “some damage” to its tail as it climbed out of Wilson, adding that it had received air traffic control clearance.

The turboprop, with 39 passengers and five crew members, turned back to Wilson airport and landed safely, with no injuries reported.

 Safarilink puts the time of the occurrence at 09:45.

”The aircraft has since been withdrawn from service awaiting inspection by the regulatory authorities,” it states, adding that passengers were transferred to another Safarilink flight to Diani.

 Safarilink has a number of Dash 8 variants in its fleet.

“The relevant agencies have been notified and, together with Safarilink Aviation, are investigating this incident,” the company says.

Safarilink 5Y-SLK-c-Safarilink

Source: Safarilink

Safarilink has identified the Dash 8 involved as this -300 registered 5Y-SLK

Kenya’s civil aviation authority puts the time of the accident at 10:05.

It says the second aircraft involved is a Cessna 172 single-engined trainer from the Ninety-Nines Flying School, which is located at Wilson airport.

“Investigations have commenced through various agencies led by the Air Accident Investigation Department and the National Police Service to establish the cause of the accident,” the authority states.

Ninety-Nines Flying School says the 172 had been conducting a “routine training flight”, with an instructor and student on board.

Neither survived the accident. Images on social media purporting to show the wreckage indicate that the Cessna was registered 5Y-NNJ.

Safarilink says it is co-operating with the relevant authorities and stresses its ”highest commitment to safety”.