An extended holiday on island after engine failure

2013-01-11 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Passengers on a Delta Airlines Boeing 777, which took off from O.R. Tambo airport on Wednesday night, got an unplanned island holiday when their plane had to make an emergency landing on Ascension Island early yesterday morning.

The island is about 1 600 km west of Angola and near St Helena.

Jacques Palin, a qualified pilot who has been working as a graphic designer in Knoxville, U.S. since 1998, was one of the passengers on board flight DL201.

“I was with my girlfriend, Susie Isaac, an American, on the way home after visiting family in South Africa,” Palin said.

“About six hours after we took off, I heard a strange noise from the right and felt how we were losing height and that the plane was turning.

“The captain said the most important engine had failed and that we had to land on Ascension.”

Palin said that the plane circled the island to use up fuel and make the plane lighter.

Angela Kontou of Delta Airlines in South Africa said the 269 adults, five children and 15 crew members on board all disembarked safely.

Palin said the landing was a bit rough, but quite good under the circumstances.

He felt the crew did not communicate enough with passengers, most of whom did not understand what was happening and became hysterical and very worried.

Palin added that Delta Airlines had not told the passengers yet what they had to do next to continue their journey.

“We are just hanging around the British side of the island,” he said.

The British army used Ascension as a base during the Falklands War against Argentina in the early 1980s and maintains a presence on the island. The U.S. air force, the European space agency and the BBC World Service also have staff on the island.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.