DP Ruto’s pilot dies in plane crash

Deputy President William Ruto’s helicopter pilot crashed on Sunday at about 8 pm at Labolo in Central Island National Park, Turkana County.

According to the Nation, the pilot Captain Mario Magonga died as a result of the crash.

Police officers have revealed that Captain Magonga died alongside four Americans whose identities are yet to be revealed.

Their bodies were discovered in the wreckage by a KWS search mission on Monday morning.

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, a family of the deceased, stated that the chopper was announced to have gone off the radar on Sunday night, prompting the dispatch of a hunt mission.

“He (Magonga) went off the radar, and they were unable to trace him until about 2 am when they found his wreckage. The only thing we know is he was the one flying the helicopter,” he told NTV.

“Available information indicates that two helicopters had landed earlier at Lobolo tented camp on the National Park’s Island, however one managed to clear the area safely,” read a statement by the National Police Service.

The cause of the plane crash is yet to be established, and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is investigating the matter.

The pilot who is a former military soldier has gained over 5500hrs experience on single and multi-engine types as stated in his LinkedIn profile.

In 2015 when he left his previous employer, Tropical Air, the company described him as “An exceptional helicopter pilot, Mario has also been the source of strength, laughter and spirit, both in the office and in the air, and we will miss him.”

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