Saturday, November 12, 2011

SA Airlink’s fleet to be scrutinized

JOHANNESBURG - SA Airlink’s fleet will be under close scrutiny by the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s (Sacaa) after Thursday’s emergency landing of one of the airline’s aircraft.

The emergency landing involved the airline’s BAE Avro 146-RJ85, which was carrying 73 passengers and four crew members.

The plane took off from OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia) and was destined to land at Pietermaritzburg Airport.

Sacaa said soon after takeoff the pilots and crew noticed that the aircraft’s nose gear was malfunctioning.

“The crew then decided to return to Ortia for an emergency landing.

The crew managed to land the aircraft safely and no one was injured,” Sacaa said.

Sacaa revealed that they received a call from the operator while the aircraft was still in the air and immediately dispatched an investigator who arrived at the scene moments after the aircraft managed to land.

“The investigation began there and then and was intensified yesterday with more personnel allocated to the incident.

The aircraft has since been taken to a nearby hangar,” said Sacaa, acting director Zakhele Thwala.

Information available at this stage suggested that the human factor could have contributed to this incident.

Meanwhile the Transport Minister has commended the captain and crew of the SA Airlink plane, as well as emergency services, for their role in ensuring a successful landing.

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