Is This Image of KDF Aircraft That Crash-Landed at Somalia’s Dholbey Airport?

The photo above was shared in a tweet by Somalia-based Garowe Online, a news website, with claims that it is of a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) plane that caught fire after a crash landing at Dholbey airport in Somalia.


Somalia has had several plane crashes over the years. The Aviation Safety Network Database lists 39 occurrences of accidents and incidents recorded in the country since 1943 to-date, with the worst being in 1981 and 1989, which had 50 and 30 fatalities respectively.

The country has also been part of KDF’s Operation Linda Nchi, which the Kenyan government declared completed in March 2012 and is now part of the African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM).


It is true that there was a KDF aircraft that crash-landed at Dholbey Airport, as reported by KDF on 4th August in tweet sating in part that, ‘all 10 military personnel on board are at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital and are in stable condition.’

According to the Aviation Safety Network Database, only 3 occurrences (including the KDF aircraft one) have been recorded so far in 2020 as can be seen in the screenshot below, which is contrary to the claim by Garowe Online that 4 such incidents have taken place this year.

However, a reverse image search shows that the photo used by Garowe Online is an old one involving a South Sudan aircraft, that took place at Wau Airport. The image appears in this report by the The Aviation Herald dated April 20, 2017. The headline reads:

Accident: South Supreme AN26 at Wau on Mar 20th 2017, collided with fire truck on landing

Further searches on the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives website gives the details of the crash and provides more pictures.

The plane operator is also identified a South Supreme Airlines, whose tail has the colours of the South Sudan flag as can be seen from the screenshot below:

The circumstances of the accident read as follows on the site:

Following an uneventful flight from Juba, the crew started the approach to Wau but encountered poor weather conditions and low visibility. During the last segment, while trying to land, it appears the aircraft was misaligned and hit a truck from the fire brigade. Out of control, it crashed near the runway threshold and came to rest in flames. All 45 occupants were able to evacuate the aircraft that was destroyed by a post-crash fire. 18 passengers were injured and transferred to hospital.


While it is true that a KDF plane crash-landed at Dholbey Airport, the photo in question is of an old crash at Wau Airport, and the plane shown is not Kenyan and has nothing to do with the KDF, making the claim misleading.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *