Ruto’s pilot buried as family demands outcome of probe into crash

The late Captain Mario Magonga (Photo: Courtesy)

Deputy President William Ruto’s pilot Captain Mario Magonga was yesterday buried in an emotional funeral where his family demanded thorough investigations into the helicopter crash that caused his death.  

Captain Mario, 45, and four Americans died in a helicopter crash near Lobolo in Central Island National Park, Turkana County, on March 3, 2019.

He was buried at his home in Mabonde village, Trans-Nzoia County.

During the ceremony attended by Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyanka, family members demanded answers from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and other state agencies. 

Abdulmalik Magonga, the late pilot’s brother, said circumstances surrounding his brother’s death were as unclear, saying the family can only get closure when it gets answers on the actual cause of the crash. 

Mr Magonga said his brother was an experienced pilot and questioned why he was allowed to fly beyond the stipulated time. 

“We don’t understand what caused the crash. We are asking for proper investigations by KCAA. A comprehensive report will certainly make us come to terms with his death,’’ he said. 

Magonga was buried yesterday in an emotional funeral (Photo: Osinde Obare)

Past time

“Aviation policy is clear that no chopper pilot is allowed to fly past 6 pm. The government should reveal what transpired when our bother met his death.’’ 

Abdulmalik said the family is still traumatised and will only come to terms with the incident when the government unravels the cause of the crash. 

“It will take time for us to come to terms with the loss and if indeed there was a malfunction in the engine, we appeal to the government to get a comprehensive report on it,’’ he said.  

He alleged mischief in the crash and challenged the government to come clean on the matter.


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