By Vincent Bartoo
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority yesterday banned the construction and operation of homemade aircraft anywhere in the country.
The ban follows the failed attempt by a Form Three student, Harrison Etyang, to fly a makeshift aircraft in Kitale last week.
KCAA Director General Chris Kuto said in a statement the authority must first vet anyone intending to engage in such an activity.
"Any person who intends to construct and operate such aircraft is required by law to apply to KCAA before engaging in such an activity," he said.
The ban comes barely a week after Etyang attempted to fly a light aircraft, which he had built.
Etyang, a Form Three student at Manor House High School in Kitale, undertook the venture without any qualifications in aviation engineering.
About 10,000 spectators thronged a stadium in Kitale town to witness the historic take-off, which was, however, not to be.
Etyang’s aircraft did not leave the ground, causing an accident instead when the engine’s propeller snapped and flew off, injuring one of his mechanics.
Etyang was also admitted to hospital after he collapsed following his failed attempt. Doctors diagnosed him as suffering from an anxiety disorder.
A few days after the failed venture, an aviation college in Nairobi offered Etyang a scholarship to study aviation engineering provided he passed his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.