in Defence / Features

Botswana replaces crashed C212 with second-hand Airbus

Posted 16 November 2018 · Add Comment

The Botswana Defence Force Air Wing has acquired a second-hand Airbus CAS C-212 light turboprop transport aircraft to replace one similar that crashed in 2017.

Botswana originally received a pair of short take-off and landing (STOL)
C212-300s in June 1993. However, one of these was lost on February 9 this year when it crashed near Thebephatshwa Air Base with the loss of all three crew.
The aircraft had been scheduled to transport vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi from Gaborone to Tsabong for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) National Youth League Congress.
It was later reported that the flight from Thebephatshwa AB to Gaborone had not been properly authorised, and air traffic control at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport was not expecting the aircraft.
The new aircraft was built in 1998 and had fewer than 500 hours on its airframe. It is a C212-400, an upgraded version with 925shp (690kW) TPE331-12JR-701C engines, increased payload and upgraded avionics.
Both variants were originally built in tandem, before the series 400 replaced the series 300 in production from 1998.
The new Botswana Defence Force C212 was previously used for carrying skydivers and parachutists and was owned by Fayard Enterprises of Wake Forest, North Carolina.
The C-212-400 flew from the US to Botswana via Cape Verde in February 2018. The aircraft was seen at Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg, South Africa, before the final leg of its journey, undergoing test flights following modifications.
The Botswana Defence Force Air Wing’s transport force is based at the main base – the Maparangwane Air Base at Thebephatshwa/Molepolole – although other airports are frequently used by its aircraft, including Francistown, the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport at Gaborone, and an airfield near Maun, which is used as a forward operating location.
Z1 Squadron operated the Pilatus Britten Norman BN-2A/B Islander/Defender, but these aircraft are believed to have been withdrawn from use. This leaves fixed-wing transport aircraft operating with Z10 Squadron, which comprises two C212s, two CN235M-100s and three ex-USAF C-130B Hercules aircraft.
The co-located Z21 Squadron has a combination of six Bell 412EP and 412SP transport helicopters.
 

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