A United Nations Dash 8 turboprop has ended up on a grassy verge after suffering a runway excursion in South Sudan. The airplane was being operated by Voyageur Airways on behalf of the UN, traveling from Juba to Malakal yesterday, carrying a UN medical team.
On landing in Malakal, the aircraft, registered C-GNSV, ran off the dirt runway to the right, coming to rest on the grass. Reportedly, nobody was hurt in the incident, although a medical doctor working for the UN described it as ‘the most scary moment’ ever experienced.
The Dash 8-400 is one of three operated under a wet lease arrangement for the United Nations, and one of only two in the Voyageur fleet. The other two -400s are operated by 748 Air Services. At the time of writing, the aircraft has not been seen on any flight trackers since the incident yesterday.
About the aircraft
This particular Dash is just over 17 years old, having been delivered to the UK’s flybe in 2005 as G-JECJ. Having left the fleet in 2014, it briefly flew for Jambojet as 5Y-JXF from 2018 to 2020, before being taken on by Voyageur Airways in February 2020.
Voyageur is a Canadian wet lease specialist, providing aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) services to a variety of clients. In particular, it provides a number of chartered aircraft to the United Nations and to NATO.
In total, it has a fleet of 50 airplanes, ranging from the CRJ200ER to the Dash 8-400. Its biggest fleets are the Dash 8-300, of which it owns 20, and the Dash 8-100, with 17 under its ownership. However, a huge number of the aircraft still listed as owned are currently in storage, with just 10 showing as active, according to ch-aviation.
The UN’s aircraft fleet
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service is listed as having a fleet of 39 aircraft at its disposal. These include an Airbus A320-200, A Boeing 737-400 combi, various De Havilland Dash models, and a number of Embraer regional jets. It also uses CRJs, four Saab 340Bs, and a handful of Do228s.
The UN uses a variety of planes on a wet lease basis. Photo: UN Humanitarian Air Service
None of these aircraft are owned by the UN; rather, they are all provided to the humanitarian service on a wet lease basis. For example, Voyageur Airways provides five CRJ200s, while ALS – Aircraft Leasing Services – leases a range of planes, including the Dash 8-100, -300 and some ERJ 135s and 145s.
Interestingly, the UN does own a couple of planes itself. These are ET-ALJ, a Boeing 767, which is operated by Ethiopian Airlines as a governmental aircraft. It also owns an Ilyushin Il-76, registered EW-78799, which is listed as leased to TAE Avia, although it is currently showing as stored.