Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Africa</span>

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Airlink Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Namibia

Airlink flight 4Z-8127 made an emergency landing in Windhoek, Namibia, on January 28th.

The plane took off for Cape Town, South Africa, but had to turn back due to a cabin pressurization problem.

The plane landed safely. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

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Air France Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Cameroon

Air France flight AF-953 made an emergency landing in Douala, Cameroon, on November 28th.

The Airbus A340-300 plane took off for Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, but had to turn back after the crew needed to shut down one of the engines.

The plane landed uneventfully. Everyone aboard remained safe.

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Thomas Cook Flight Makes Emergency Landing after Bird Strikes

Thomas CookThomas Cook flight MT-1033 made an emergency landing in Banjul, Gambia, on November 8th.

The plane had just departed for Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom, when it encountered a flock of ducks. The birds impacted both engines and the landing gear, forcing the crew to return for an emergency landing.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

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TAP Portugal Plane Diverts to Africa due to Bird Ingestion

TAPTAP Portugal flight TP-1534 had to divert and make an emergency landing at Amílcar Cabral International Airport, Cape Verde, Africa, on July 28th.

The Airbus A320-200 flying from Praia to Lisbon, Portugal, had to divert due to bird ingestion by one of its engines.

The plane landed safely.

No one was injured.

All 25 Survived after U.S. Marine Helicopter Crashed into Arabian Sea

SeaA U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed into the Arabian Sea on September 1.

The helicopter belonging to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit crashed during landing on the Mesa Verde. According to the press release issued by the Navy, “The aircraft was carrying the Marines and sailors back to USS Mesa Verde from training ashore in nearby Djibouti.”

All 25 persons aboard the helicopter, including 17 Marines and 8 Navy sailors, were safely recovered. “Three individuals are reported to have sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash,” the press release said.

The U.S. Navy and the Marines in AFRICOM units are jointly investigating the incident.

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Fatal Crash during Secunda Airshow

Photographer Gary Shephard

A Red Bull Extra 300 aircraft crashed on October 12 during a Secunda airshow in Mpumalanga.

The engine appeared to stall when the pilot came out of a dive. The plane leveled out, made it to the ground and skidded seventy meters. When the plane caught fire, the pilot, Glen Dell, had to be helped from the cockpit. Reports indicated that he was airlifted and hospitalized at Mediclinic with burns and other injuries then transferred to Glenwood hospital/Netcare Sunninghill Hospital for burn care, but succumbed to the injuries.

The plane was a Extra 330LC, which is a Lycoming AEIO-580 powered two-seat competition aircraft, a type of Aerobatic monoplane, designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, an award-winning German aerobatic pilot and built by Extra Flugzeugbau.

Dell had 25,000 hours flying experience on 250 aircraft, held a zero foot aerobatic display waiver, which is awarded to pilots with proven competency and reputation reflecting display pilot expertise. In 2004, Glen finished first overall at the 6th Advanced World Aerobatic Championships, becoming the first South African to win. He had competed several times in the Red Bull Air Race but had announced he was returning to South African Airlines.

The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the cause of the crash.
Video below

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8 Die in Botswana Crash

What: Moremi Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravan en route from Xakanaka Airstrip to Pom Pom Camp Airstrip
Where: Xaxanaka (Botswana)
When: OCT 14 2011
Who: 12 aboard, 8 fatalities
Why: A Moremi Air Cessna crashed in Botswana in the Okavango Delta soon after takeoff. Fatalities include the pilot and seven tourists. Four Swedes, two Brits, and two French were burned beyond recognition. One of the twelve people aboard actually jumped out of the plane while it was in the air, to avoid the fire, and that individual died at Maun Airport.

The four who survived include two Botswanan officials of the Department of Road Transport and Safety, and a french couple treated at Delta Private Hospital in Maun. The husband had burns, the wife was unhurt. One of the vehicle examiners, Bernard Lottering, kicked out a window when the plane landed, then facilitated his colleague’s exit.

The crash is under investigation.

Moremi Air Charters has grounded their fleet.

Nabo Rings Danger and Caution over African Skies (and Spreading)

It is June 15, three days after Eritrea’s Nabo volcano erupted, and traffic is still being disrupted. Ethiopian Airlines announced flights to Northern Ethiopia, Dijbouti and Kartoum are still disrupted by the ash cloud, although their other flights are running smoothly. Care is being taken because the ash, which is mainly made up of silicates melts at about 1100°C and fuses inside the engine, often to catastrophic results.

The Toulouse VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisories) maps out the ash cloud:

And the official text advisory of June 15 from VAAC is below:

DTG: 20110615/1200Z
PSN: N1322E04142
ADVISORY NR: 2011/09
OBS VA DTG: 15/1200Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL200 N1105 E03935 – N1240 E04130 – N1105 E04300 –
N1105 E03935 FL200/400 N1310 E04205 – N1255 E03715 – N1455 E03815 –
N1310 E04205
FCST VA CLD + 6H: 15/1800Z SFC/FL200 N1215 E04155 – N1105 E04420 –
N1105 E04035 – N1215 E04155 FL200/400 N1310 E04215 – N1215 E04040 –
N1225 E03705 – N1435 E03735 – N1310 E04215
FCST VA CLD + 12H: 16/0000Z SFC/FL200 N1240 E04200 – N1205 E04330 –
N1050 E04440 – N1050 E03950 – N1240 E04200 FL200/400 N1305 E04155 –
N1230 E03900 – N1235 E03515 – N1415 E03535 – N1305 E04155
FCST VA CLD + 18H: 16/0600Z SFC/FL200 N1225 E04205 – N1205 E04430 –
N1015 E04530 – N1020 E03905 – N1225 E04205 FL200/400 N1430 E03405 –
N1305 E04150 – N1155 E03930 – N1235 E03400 – N1430 E03405

See our article Hot Volcanoes Cool Air Travel for more details.

4 Survive Antonov Crash offshore Gabon, Africa

What: DHL Aviation (leased from Solenta Aviation) Antonov 26
Where: 2.3 km S of Libreville Airport, Gabon
When: 06 JUN 2011
Who: 2 crew 2 passengers
Why: The flight had permission to land when it began experiencing a hydraulic problem, and was flying with difficulty when it crashed into the sea near Libreville Airport. (Although reported as a hydraulics issue, both propellors had stopped according to witnesses, so it may have been a fuel issue. )

One passenger from Gabon and one Bulgarian passenger were on board. The two member crew was Ukranian.

The flight ditched in shallow water and the plane is still visible above the water line.

Gabon has banned Antonov 26 flights in its airspace until further notice

Blacklisted by the EU: Air Madagascar

According to a unanimous decision by the European Commission’s Air Safety Committee, Air Madagascar is the latest Airline blacklisted by the EU. The decision was made during the 5 – 7 April meeting. In some areas, 98 per cent of ICAO safety standards were not met. All airlines from Mozambique have been added because of persistent, significant safety deficiencies in operation and supervision. Three carriers are banned: Blue Wing Airlines, Meridian Airways, and Silverback Cargo Freighters.

Russia was warned to “ensure” compliance of their aircraft.

Mozambique Airlines twice weekly flights from Maputo to Lisbon which are operated under a “wet lease” agreement with a Portuguese company, EuroAtlantic Airways will continue. EuroAtlantic provides the Boeing 767-300, the crew and the maintenance.

The Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute implemented an inadequate plan for improvement; but Portugal will be assisting the country to overcome safety problems.

Official Eu Banned List

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Safekeeping of Passengers Flies or Dies on Banks Due Diligence of Ethiopia Airlines

While one should congratulate Ethiopian Airlines for securing a $765 million package deal to finance five 777s, I hope the banks checked more than just their credit history and their relationship with the banks.

In terms of technological adulthood, Africa is still in its infancy. The pressure put on even a fairly reputable airline company like this to keep up with maintenance and pilot training is immense. It is succeed, or else. Or else, they call the loan and repo the planes. Or else there is a catastrophe and people lose their lives.

If all is ok when plane is leased but two years later airline gets a rap for bad maintenance or pilot training or any of the hundreds of other things that could happen, then the lease co or bank needs to step in and use their clout to demand changes/corrections, or face the consequences. Their contract should have teeth, with consequences that matter enough to the lessee to compel them to action, such as the right to repo that plane for maintenance or neglect issues, or pilot training issues, just as if the lessee were not making their payments. Lenders are pretty good at covering their investment by including clauses like this. Such a provision may already exist. The clause is not window dressing. It can be acted upon. Not for money’s sake. For the sake of lives.

Yes, lives are at stake here. Banks have a duty to monitor the lessee or buyer they entrust, and a duty as well to supervise not only the money but keep up with what is being purchased with the money. Entrusting a less than capable entity in ownership and maintenance of a jet worth millions is certainly dangerous instrumentality. Sufficient time should be allocated to responsible due diligence, beyond the loan/lease, to monitor not only timely payments but also if the company is living up to aggressive guidelines of maintenance and training.

These planes bought with this money, like all other airplanes but especially jets, are weapons of mass destruction. Even if they are not used in a deliberately terrorist act, inexperienced pilots and shotty maintenance can cause that plane to crash and become a weapon for those on board and for those on the ground.

Nama Goes Digital GPS

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is moving to the satellite-based navigation framework known as WGS84″. IATA has been contracted at a cost of ?360 million. The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS is carried out through the World Geodetic System 84 (WGS84) survey. The federal government will bear the cost of 22 airports controlled by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) including two others owned by the Akwa Ibom and Gombe State governments.

So far the project has begun at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt Airport, Rivers; and Aminu Kano Airport, Kano.

Pilots using the system will rely on the satellite to navigate to the airport.

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Comoros: Crash Averted

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Sam Chui

What: Yemenia Airbus A330-200 en route from Djibouti to Moroni Comoros
Air Austral Boeing 777-200 en route from Lyon to Saint Denis
Where: Moroni, Comoros
When: Aug 24 2010
Who: 350 passengers aboard the Boeing
Why: Both flights were in the air, the Airbus flying at a higher altitude. The Airbus unexpectedly descended without ATC clearance.

The Boeing received a TCAS resolution advisory, to which they immediately responded, averting a collision.

George’s Point of View

I am reminded of the sad and tragic events of June 30, 2009, when Air Yemenia failed to make a safe landing and killed everyone aboard but Bahia Bakari.

Confusion again reigns in Moroni, Comoros airspace. I am grateful for the successful TCAS resolution/response. Apologies if the date is in error, as we find different dates published for this averted catastrophe.


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Mauritania: Engine Fire, Emergency Landing

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Javier Bravo Muñoz

What: BMI/Astraeus Boeing 757-200 en route from Freetown Sierra Leone to London
Where: Nouakchott Mauritania
When: Aug 25 2010
Who: 110 aboard
Why: While en route the plane developed engine problems. One account says the pilot saw an engine on fire and contacted ATC for immediate clearance for an emergency landing.

The official report says that the plane was experiencing engine surges.

What matters is that the plane landed safely, with no casualties. A replacement plane was flown in.

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Mining Company Plane Crash

What: Australian Mining Company Sundance Resources Charter Aéro-Service CASA C-212 Aviocar en route from Yaoundé-Nsimalen International Airport at Yaounde, to Yangadou
Where: 6.3 miles from Cameroon / Congo border
When: June 19 2010
Who: 11 passengers 2 crew, (six Australians, two French, one American and two British citizens) all fatalities
Why: En route to visit an iron ore mining site, the helicopter crashed in the Congolese jungle; it was located Monday afternoon. Those lost include Australian billionaire, Ken Talbot, and company chairman, Geoff Wedlock.

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South Africa Airlines Under Scrutiny

Friday, the Commissioner of the South African Civil Aviation Authority will be reporting the results of a SA Airlink safety audit being tendered to Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele due to the incident Monday when an Airlink plane overshot the runway at George Airport, allegedly due to poor pilot training. Three injuries were reported, including an ankle injury of the first officer. In another recent Airlink crash (Durban), the pilot died later of his injuries and 3 passengers were injured.

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Airlink Crash in Durban

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact Brian Spurr

What: SA Airlink JS41 en route from from Durban to Pietermaritzburg
Where: Durban
When: Sep 24th 2009
Who: 4 people, (3 crewmembers) and a woman working on the ground at the school perimeter, have been airlifted to local hospitals. The captain is critical, the other 3 with serious injuries.
Why: The plane had smoke coming from its engines, lost height after takeoff.

The crew called Mayday and reported engine loss and smoke. They attempted an emergency landing in the field in front of a school and impacted the fence surrounding the school.

Preliminary examination apparently shows the hand engine was operating under full power and the left engine failed.

George’s Point of View

The fact that anyone at all survived this indicates that the emergency landing was a success.

However, maintenance is suspect.

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Airbus Leak Instigates Emergency Landing in South Africa

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Steve Brimley
What: South African Airways Airbus A319-100 from Johannesburg en route to Port Elizabeth
Where: OR Tambo International airport.
When: Monday March 23
Why: The plane returned to the airport of origin to make an emergency landing due to an oil leak which was said to be non-threatening. Prior to this event, a gauge indicated a pressure problem. The crew shut down one engine when it lost oil pressure.

Passengers took another plane an hour and a half later.

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Helicopter Crashes in Africa

What: bright-orange helicopter
Where: between the Carnival City Casino and the Rondebult offramp, (beside the road) Boksburg
When: 10.30am
Who: two injured were both men aged between 30 and 40.
Why: The crash is under investigation. Witnesses say the helicopter “fell like a rock.”

One was treated by ER24 and taken to Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni; the other suffered head injuries and was treated by paramedics; he was placed on advanced life support and ported to the Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton.

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