Aircraft and pilots
The aircraft involved in the accident was an Airbus A310-304, registration 5Y-BEN, named Harambee Star. With c/n 426, the airframe entered service with Kenya Airways in September 1986 . The aircraft had logged 58,115 flight hours at the time of the accident. It was powered by two GE CF6-80C2A2 engines. The port and starboard engines' serial numbers were 690,120 and 690,141, respectively; before the crash, they had accumulated 43,635 and 41,754 flight hours, respectively.
The flight was under the command of 44-year-old Captain Paul Muthee, an experienced officer who had logged 11,636 flying hours at the time of the accident, 1,664 on an Airbus A310. He qualified as an A310 pilot on 10 August 1986, and also held ratings for Boeing 737-300, Boeing 737-200, Fokker 50 and Fokker 27, as well as various small aircraft. The first officer was 43-year-old Lazaro Mutumbi Mulli, who had 7,295 hours of flight time, 5,768 in an A310. Both pilots had performed four landings and four takeoffs on the type at Abidjan Airport; their last takeoff from the airport took place on the day of the accident. First officer Mulli was the pilot flying on the accident flight.
The airframe was completely destroyed by the impact.