Sudanese First Vice President John Garang boards a helicopter at Entebbe International Airport on his way to meet Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at his country home in Mbarara, western Uganda, July 29, 2005. (Reuters).
The experts including three Ugandans, a team from the Sudan Aviation Authority and Kenya, recovered the black box from near the scene of the crash.
They are currently studying the equipment to ascertain the mechanical condition of the aircraft before it came down in the southern Sudan mountain ranges.
The accident probe team will use the black box, a vital tool in the investigation of plane accidents, to establish what happened in the last moments before the helicopter ploughed into a mountain near New Site.
The Ugandan team, led by Ahmed Busulwa-Sebuliba, a principal airworthiness surveyor with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), flew back yesterday. It was reported to have briefed CAA about its preliminary findings.
Others on the team are Barry Kashambo, a senior airworthiness surveyor with CAA and Maj Pascal Mangeni, a flight engineer with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces Air Force.
It is yet to be established whether the black box is to be flown to the helicopter manufacturers in Belarus for further investigations or the inquiries are to be completed in the Sudan.
Meanwhile, Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda also flew to Sudan with a team of forensic experts in an effort to beef up the investigation.