Cracked windscreen causes scare

2013-05-16 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — When the cabin pressure suddenly plummeted and the plane dropped in altitude, passengers on the SA Express flight between PE and Durban knew something was wrong.

“It was the most frightening moment of my life,” said Anriëtte Schoeman, Cape Argus cycling champion and one of the passengers on the flight, yesterday.

“The air pressure felt very strange and the oxygen masks were released from the roof. That was when they announced that we would have to make an emergency landing in East London because of cabin pressure and a cracked windscreen.

She said the cracked windscreen was on the side of the flight captain, Karen Essery.

Schoeman, who was on her way to the Sani2C-mountain bike race in Underberg, said she was impressed with the way the flight crew had handled the incident.

“We were all very rattled, but the the flight crew reassured us with a safe landing.”

Another plane was sent from Johannesburg to fly the passengers to Durban.

SA Express said in a statement that the plane was 8,5 km above sea level when the windscreen cracked.

Inati Ntshanga, chief executive officer of SA Express, said the lives of the passengers or crew were not in danger at any stage and the windscreen would be replaced before the plane flew again.

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