Another cargo plane that crashed into Lake Victoria at Entebbe Airport By Steven Candia AN investigation into last years plane crash into Lake Victoria has found that the navigator used a forged license and that the aircraft and engines were beyond their service life. Eleven people died, including two Ugandans, when the Russian Ilyushin plunged into the lake shortly after take-off at Entebbe on March 9. The plane, operated by South African Aerolift and chartered by Dynacorp International, an American company, was destined for Mogadishu with supplies for the African Union peacekeeping mission. The report by a probe committee, headed by Col. Chris Mudoola, noted that the navigator of the plane, a Ukrainian national who also perished in the crash, was using a forged First Class navigator license which was issued to another person in 1996. To the Ukrainian authorities, it appeared that the certificate was altered, including the insertion of the navigators photograph, the report said. The probe team also observed that the performance of the crew could have been affected by the possible effect of alcohol and fatigue as a result of lack of sleep. Various reports indicated that the crew members were seen drinking alcohol the night before. It further noted that based on available records and interviews, the operator did not ensure that the aircraft was airworthy. There was no evidence that the anomalies associated with the dual loss of engine power, which had occurred three months earlier, had been addressed, it said. The aircraft on December 15, 2008 lost engine power after take-off from Entebbe for a flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo, prompting the crew to abort the flight. In some of its disturbing findings, the report noted that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lacks trained personnel to carry out safety oversight of aircraft manufactured in the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, it is forced by external forces to approve such flights. With regards to such aircraft, CAA experiences difficulties ascertaining the authenticity of the submitted documents, said the report. Also, CAA encounters difficulties with the interpretation and understanding of the aircraft manuals. Furthermore, there are external forces that influence the CAA approval process. The report further found that the search and rescue operation was hampered due to inadequate personnel training and equipment, and a non-functional emergency alarm system. There was no distress call from the aircraft, and at the time of the accident, the radar was off because it was undergoing repair, the probe team found. The report could not establish the exact cause of the accident due to the absence of substantial aircraft wreckage and because the flight recorders were never recovered. However, it said, the accident could have been caused by one or a combination of factors, including loss of engine power, malfunction of the flight control system, pilot impairment, inattentiveness to altitude and inadequate handling of the aircraft. Among those who died were four Russian crew members and seven passengers, including three senior military officers from Burundi, one Indian from Dynacorp, one South African from AMISOM and two Ugandans.