Book ID 569
Abercrombie and Kent, 1999
Extract Author: Alistarir Ballantine
Extract Date: 1999 September 1
An aircraft chartered by Abercrombie & Kent Tanzania from Northern Air is missing. The aircraft carrying ten American tourists on an Abercrombie & Kent Livingstone Safari took off from Seronera Airstrip in the Serengeti at around 10:20 am (Tanzania time) 3:20 am (EDT) on Wednesday, September 1, and has not been heard from since. An extensive search is under way. *
We have been informed that the aircraft was a twin-engine Cessna 404. It was being flown by Chris Pereira, Chief Pilot of Northern Air. The clients on this aircraft were part of the Abercrombie & Kent Livingstone Safari, which departed August 22nd from the United States.
Additional, information will be posted to the website as it becomes available.
For further information, contact: The Africa Desk of the U.S. State Department in Washington, or Gillian Larkin, Sr. VP, at the Abercrombie & Kent Offices in Oak Brook, Illinois, on 1-800-323-7308 or 1-630-954-2944. Or visit our website a www.abercrombiekent.com.
* Update at 2:00 pm - Oak Brook, Illinois Time
An aircraft, which is believed to be the aircraft in question, has been seen on Mt. Meru and the search-and-rescue efforts are now all focused on reaching this aircraft.
** Update at 4:00 pm - Oak Brook, Illinois Time
The search-and-rescue team have located the crash site. As best as they are able, given the fact it is difficult terrain and dark, they have not been able to locate any survivors at this time. This search party will camp at the site, waiting for day break. With daybreak a helicopter will return to the site, hoping to land near the crash site in order to thoroughly search the area and confirm whether there are (or are not) any survivors. A Flying Doctor and Nurse are among the search-and-rescue team to enable giving any survivors immediate medical attention.
*** Update on September 2nd at 10:30 am - Oak Brook, Illinois Time
The aircraft and the bodies of ten passengers, together with the pilot and the A & K Professional Guide have been found. There are no survivors. The bodies will be moved, first to Arusha, and then to Nairobi, where they will be prepared for repatriation. This will be handled by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The State Department has informed all next of kin and will only release the names of the deceased when they are ready to do so.
The twin-engine Cessna 404 was owned by Northern Air, which has seven aircraft. The Cessna 404 was licensed to carry up to 14 passengers and was being flown by Northern Air's Chief Pilot, Chris Pereira. Mr. Pereira had over twenty years and 16,000 flying hours of experience. The aircraft left the Serengeti shortly after 10:00 am Tanzania time and crashed into the side of Mt. Meru at about 9,000 feet above sea level. The weather was overcast, which is fairly typical around Mt. Meru at this time of the year and there was nothing unusual about the weather.
The Professional Guide leading the group, William Meiliani, was also killed. The remaining 7 clients on this Livingstone Safari Group went on to Nairobi and the Masai Mara, continuing their safari.
We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident.
Feb 2003 - The specific page giving this information is no longer available on line