Urgent probe into emergency plane landing

2011-11-11 14:23

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - An urgent probe is underway at Airlink after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing at OR Tambo International Airport, the airline said on Friday.

"I have implemented an urgent internal review of our processes and procedures," chief executive Rodger Roster said in a statement.

"The SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) has commenced its investigation into last night's regrettable incident," he said, adding that Airlink would co-operate with the Sacaa probe.

Flight SA 8739, with 72 passengers and four crew on board, was forced to ground on its belly on Thursday night after experiencing problems with its nose-wheel.

The aircraft landed safely at 21:20 with its nose-wheel retracted, spokesperson Karin Murray said.

No one hurt

The flight took off from the airport at 19:10 and was expected to land in Pietermaritzburg at 19:40.

"In accordance with procedure, the crew turned back to OR Tambo International and burned off fuel before landing. None of the passengers or crew were hurt in the emergency landing," said Murray.

The company provided alternative travel arrangements for the passengers.

Roster extended his apologies to the passengers and their loved ones for their distress and thanked the Airports Company SA, emergency services and all those who helped take care of the passengers and crew.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele congratulated those who ensured the safety of the emergency landing.

"We want to commend the captain and crew of the aircraft, Airports Company South Africa, Air Traffic and Navigation Services, emergency services [and others]," Ndebele said in a statement.

"This again demonstrates our readiness and preparedness as a country to effectively deal with such emergencies."

With the approach of the COP-17 environmental conference in Durban later this month, Ndebele said an integrated and co-ordinated approach to safety-related issues was a top priority.

Passengers changed planes

Roster said he had discussed the incident with the director-general of transport, who would convey to Ndebele his "undertaking to work tirelessly to ensure that we do not compromise the safety of air travellers in South Africa".

Alec Hogg, the founder of Moneyweb, was a passenger on the flight. He recorded his experience of the emergency landing on his blog.

Hogg said the passengers were first seated in a "spanking new" Avro RJ85, but were asked to disembark because of a technical fault.

The second aircraft they boarded was "so old it had ashtrays on the seats".

Hogg said that 15 minutes into the flight the pilot, Harm Kallenberg, announced that the aircraft would return to OR Tambo International airport. He said there was no cause for alarm.

‘Happy to be alive’

Hogg praised the pilot and the air hostesses for remaining calm and keeping passengers informed.
Passengers were shown the "brace" position for an emergency landing.

He wrote that he had "realised absent-mindedly that the seat was too small for me to get my head into my lap as we were instructed to".

He described the landing as "the longest 30 seconds of my life".

The front landing gear had failed and "the bottom of the plane hit the tarmac and a loud noise like skateboarding on a gravel road filled our ears".

Hogg said he felt "very, very happy to be alive".
- SAPA

Read more on:    airlink  |  johannesburg  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.