Dangerous:Overloaded Ruto chopper in take-off mishap
An overloaded chopper carrying Deputy President William Ruto failed to take off on Saturday from Olooloitikosh in Kajiado. Two MPs were forced to alight from the chopper before it successfully took off.
The pilot of the 5Y-KWM helicopter owned by the Kenya Wildlife Service made three unsuccessful attempts to take off before he finally ordered some of the passengers to alight as the chopper was too heavy.
The chopper had six occupants – the Deputy President, MPs Kabando wa Kabando, Moses ole Sakuda and one from Kilifi county whom we could not easily identify, a bodyguard and the pilot.
Ruto had just finished laying the foundation stone at the Kenya Paraplegic Organisation Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Trauma Centre in Olooloitikosh and he was leaving for Nyahururu for another function.
The incident alarmed hundreds of people who had attended the event. Ruto had travelled by road from his Karen residence to Olooloitikosh for the event from where he was to be flown to other destinations.
One of Ruto’s aides told the Star that he wanted the MPs on board so that they could join him in rallies in Nyahururu, Transmara and Narok.
Two choppers, one meant for Ruto and another one carrying several MPs from Central region had landed at Olooloitikosh.
After the event, the chopper with the Central MPs, who included Alice Ng’ang’a of Thika town, took off successfully. But Ruto’s chopper experienced problems.
It is understood that the pilot pointed out that the problem was excess weight which saw Sakuda and the MP from Kilifi alight. Contacted yesterday, an aide of Ruto’s denied claims that the chopper had problems taking off.
“There was nothing like that. The chopper was okay and it had no problems taking off. It was all right,” he said.
However, when asked why he alighted and jumped into Ruto’s official car, Sakuda said that the pilot informed them that the chopper was overloaded and two of them had to alight.
“The pilot said there were too many cars parked near the choppers and they did not have enough space for take off. The chopper could not take off because it could not gain the required momentum. Even the first chopper had problems taking off,” he said.
Sakuda said the pilot had told them that he needed flat, open ground for a successful take-off since the chopper was heavy.
“He said the fuel tank was full. The place was crowded with cars and it was sloped. The chopper was skidding while attempting to take off. That is why two of us had to alight,” he said.
The MP said the pilot landed on another field where the two MPs boarded again and successfully flew to Nyahururu.
– The Star