Coastal has been in business for over thirty years of accident-free operation.
That changed on October 25 when a Cessna Grand Caravan made contact with trees at the end of the runway in Lobo – Serengeti.

Thankfully only three passengers were injured. They were treated and released from hospital after two days. The airplane was destroyed.

Then, on November 15, another Cessna Grand Caravan, carrying a pilot and 10 passengers, came into contact with the ground near the Empakaai crater. All eleven people on board were killed.

It is been a truly tragic set of events for Coastal Aviation. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure this never happens again.

We have already made some changes to our processes and procedures, but we want to communicate with you EVERY step of the way as we continue our journey towards becoming the safest aviation company in East Africa.

We invite you to help us on that journey. We invite you to become our accountability partners as we communicate exactly the steps we are taking. We will be sharing information about both incidents as it becomes available, and inviting your feedback.

To participate, enter your contact information below. You will receive frequent updates in your inbox, but your contact information will not be shared with any third parties.

12/04/2017 EXTERNAL AUDITOR APPOINTED

Dear Colleagues

As previously mentioned, Coastal Aviation will be subject to a thorough, top-down review of our safety systems, management, processes and protocols by an external third party.

I’m pleased to report that the Coastal Board have appointed AVMASSI (Aviation Marine Safety Solutions International), an internationally recognised aviation consultancy.
The external audit will begin tomorrow, 5 December.

Our goal is simple – we are doing this in order to become safer. If there are things we can improve, we want to know what they are.

If you have questions about the audit, the process or the findings, please do not hesitate to ask me. As always, I will point you to our tourism industry hotline – communication@coastal.co.tz or to find the releases on our website.

Warm regards

Julian Edmunds
Managing Director

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11/29/2017 FURTHER UPDATES

Dear Colleagues

Last Monday, I promised you we were going to make some operational changes across the entire Coastal Aviation network. I am writing to let you know those changes have been fully implemented.

For the majority of flights, Coastal Aviation has adapted a ‘safety pilot’ system.

There will be two pilots in the cockpit.

The only way a flight will be operated by a sole pilot will be if they are one of our most experienced pilots. These pilots will not only be highly experienced, with experience in bush conditions here in Tanzania, but their experience will be entirely accident-free.

If you have questions about your specific flight or your specific route, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact me directly. We have established communication@coastal.co.tz as a ‘Tourism-Industry hotline’. If you have questions, we’ll have answers for you as soon as humanly possible.

Our commitment is simple – we want take safety to a higher level.

To that end, we are making a few other changes over the next few weeks. Next week, I’ll be able to tell you more about a complete, top-to-bottom third-party aviation auditor that we’ve hired to do an exhaustive review of all our systems, processes, protocols and management. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to become that aviation company.

We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a fatal accident never happens again.

We will have more information shortly, but in the meantime, I wanted to ensure you were kept up to speed on the changes we’re implementing. If you have further questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards

Julian Edmunds
Managing Director

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11/20/2017 TRAVEL TRADE STATEMENT

Dear Colleagues

As promised, I would like to update you on what steps Coastal Aviation is taking in the short term to ensure the safety of our passengers.

As you can imagine, the last few days have been exceedingly busy. We have made decisions as a result of intense internal discussion, but also from looking at the comments we have received from you, our stakeholders. I would like to thank you all for your input and support.

With all of this in mind we have taken a long and hard look at our existing operations aircrew and split the crew into two distinct groups based on experience.

Effective immediately to be classified as an experienced Coastal Captain, you must have in excess of 3000 hours of accident free total flying time (approximately 5 years as a commercial pilot) with in excess of 1000 hours of Pilot in Command of an aircraft in single pilot operations in remote and challenging terrain, with a minimum of 500 of these hours in Tanzania. This group will be the only pilots allowed to fly on their own and will be subject to a full operational route safety check every 2 months to ensure that they are following the rules, (also called our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Normally these checks are every 6 months.

The remaining group of pilots will fly with a Coastal-employed Safety Pilot on board. The Safety Pilot’s responsibility will be to assist the Captain in a variety of tasks, but primarily to assist with adherence to SOPs and Checklists for everyone’s safety. By extension, this also means a better guest experience.

We have already implemented these changes in our Serengeti Operations and will be implementing the changes across our network this week.

The plan will evolve as we progress. I can assure you it will only evolve in the direction of even greater safety.

There are many other factors and areas we will get the chance to address with time; however, for now, I do not wish to interfere with any third party government investigations.

That being said, we will be commissioning an aviation industry recognized, independent audit team to conduct a full top-down review of our company. We are fully committed to restructuring our operations as to the recommendations that arise out of this process and the current investigations.

These new procedures will have a major effect on the amount of flights we can offer, across our network. Nothing is more important than the safety of our guests. We are fully committed first and foremost to providing safe aviation services and as such, that shall be our first consideration.

We will try, where ever possible to keep the network integrity, but we may need to significantly reduce the capacity we can offer. This may affect some of the bookings that you have made with us. We are working hard to limit the inconvenience of these changes, but we know you understand – our primary motivation will be safety.

I will report back early next week with an update on our restructuring process and to keep you in the overall picture of how our changes are being implemented.

In the meantime, I am available to discuss any and all of this, at any time.

Thank you once again. Your support has been amazing.

Your sincerely

Julian Edmunds
Managing Director

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11/17/2017 ACCIDENTS OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2017

Dear Colleagues

As you are aware we have recently had two significant accidents, one of which resulted in the loss of life of all on board. The other accident, in October, was no less serious, but thankfully resulted in no loss of life. Two passengers and the Pilot were taken to hospital in Nairobi and subsequently released after 2 nights. I am still in touch with all involved.

Naturally all of us at Coastal are devastated and in a total state of shock. To have one major accident, after so many years of safe operations is bad, but to have another, with such a tragic outcome, so soon afterwards has left us reeling.

We have rightly been accused for poor communication to our trade partners, I put my hand up and take full responsibility for this. The lack of further communication after the October accident was down to my desire to respect the ongoing investigation and the privacy of those involved. Whilst this intention was honourable, I accept that it was not the right decision. I am having to learn fast.

The initial report from the first accident points to an attempted go around in bad weather that was left too late.

The cause of Wednesday’s tragedy is still being investigated and I do not wish to speculate as to why it happened, at this stage, in fear that I prejudice the official investigation. I will not release the passenger or pilot details yet, as the next of kin are still trying to process their loss. I am sure you will respect their privacy.

Coastal Aviation was rightly proud of our safety record, built up over 30 years. I still cannot believe that the two serious occurrences are this year. One thing I can assure you is that we are not sitting idle in trying to a) find out what happened and b) making the necessary steps in order to make sure that this never happens again.

What are we doing?
The first thing we are doing is appointing an external investigator to come and assess every single aspect of our business. These will include:
Flight Operations
Safety Management System
Maintenance
Training
Pilot Recruitment
Crew composition, experience and Workload
Our Management structure and effectiveness.

These investigations take time and will result in many changes and improvements, we may become a very different operation in our quest for the greatest level of safety assurance achievable. During this process we pledge to keep you, our valued partners informed at all times, as it may result in material changes in the products and services we offer.

The investigation will address the medium and long terms changes that are required.

In order to address the short term and immediate needs, I am chairing a meeting with our heads of departments tomorrow morning to make immediate changes and other short-term measures. The results of this meeting will be fully communicated with you by 09:00 EAT on Monday. Many of the changes will already be in place.

We have created a dedicated email address communication@coastal.co.tz
This is to assist us in communicating with our industry partners more effectively and timeously.

Lastly, but by no means least I would like to thank the industry at large for the messages of love and support we have received, they mean a huge amount to all of us.

Your sincerely

Julian Edmunds
Managing Director

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11/15/2017 UPDATE ON COASTAL AVIATION ACCIDENT IN EMPAKAAI AREA

We are deeply saddened to report that eleven people have died after a single-plane accident this morning in Northern Tanzania. The Cessna Caravan plane, carrying a single pilot and ten passengers, had an incident in the Empakaai area. Names of the passengers and crew are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Download the below press release for more details.

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11/15/2017 ACCIDENT IN EMPAKAAI AREA

Today, the 15h of November, at approximately 11:00 EAT, our aircraft 5H-EGG, a Cessna Grand Caravan carrying 10 passengers and 1 pilot, had an accident in the Empakaai area, enroute to the Serengeti. Download the below press release for more details.

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10/27/2017 Serengeti accident in Lobo – Media statement #3

The three people who sustained injuries as a result of the accident on 25th October have been released from hospital and will continue their healing process privately. All are happy to be discharged. Regarding the dynamics of the accident it can now be asserted that the aircraft overran the runway after touchdown in poor weather. Download the below press release for more details.

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10/26/2017 Serengeti accident in Lobo – Media statement #2

All of the injured parties are safely in Nairobi receiving the necessary Medical Care. All patients are in good spirits and the indications are that they can expect to be discharged in the next day or so. Download the below press release for more details.

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10/26/2017 Serengeti accident in Lobo – Media statement #1

Yesterday afternoon (25th October, Ed.) at approximately 1430 hrs EAT one of our aircrafts, a Cessna Grand Caravan with 10 passengers and one pilot, had an accident while landing at Lobo airstrip in the Serengeti National Park. Download the below press release for more details.

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