Condolences pour in for Turkana copter crash pilot

Monday March 04 2019

Captain Mario Magonga relaxes at an undisclosed location in this undated photo. He died together with four Americans when his helicopter crashed in Turkana on March 3, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY


Kenyans took to social media to eulogise Captain Mario Magonga, the pilot who died Sunday evening in Turkana after his helicopter crashed.

Four Americans also died after the helicopter came down at Lobolo in Central Island National Park.

Former Kiambu governor William Kabogo was among Kenyans who eulogised Captain Magonga. He posted on his Twitter handle @honkabogo: “My heartfelt condolences to the family of Captain Mario Magonga. May The Lord God console you at this very difficult time of grief. I knew Magonga well as a very polite, disciplined and professional pilot… he worked for me for quite a while. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”


Dennis Itumbi tweeting on @OleItumbi said: “Fly well buddy. In the book of Good Men who touched the soil of our motherland in our lifetime, you will always have a prominent page. God strengthen your family Captain.”

But @254Realist took a swipe at Kenyans for condoling Deputy President William Ruto instead of the pilot’s family.


“A husband/father dies and the most important part is he is DP Ruto’s pilot. Captain Mario Magonga has lost his life and some people are saying pole Ruto... Who bewitched you? Wakenya tuamuke (Kenyans lets wake up)!” He said.

Captain Magonga was Deputy President William Ruto’s pilot.


Speaking on NTV’s AMLive Monday morning, Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka who is Captain Magonga's cousin said that the pilot went off radar and they were unable to trace him until about 2am when they found his wreckage. The MP called for speedy investigations into the incident.

“We just need, as a country, to get to the bottom of the issues about the aviation industry. We must be in a position to see if we are operating within the international best practices,” Onyonka told AMLive.

Mr Onyonka confirmed that the Mr Magonga had been a frequent flier of the deputy president.

“He has been a frequent flier of the deputy president,” said Onyonka.


Henry Otiende @HenryOtiende also eulogised his childhood friend.

“Captain Mario Magonga was my friend for 34 years and classmate for 8 of those. Sad for us. My condolences to the family.”

Abuga Makori @o_abuga, confirmed that he had an appointment with Captain Magonga in Nairobi Monday, only to learn of his demise.

“I am devastated [by] the death of Captain Mario Magonga. It's sad that I even had an appointment with him today in Nairobi, only to learn he just died in Turkana. Rest in peace Colonel Mario, soldiers rest, they don't die.”

Captain Mario Magonga, an ex-military pilot, hails from Nyamataro, Kitutu Chache South, Kisii County.

He is an Alumni of Cardinal Otunga High School, Mosocho.