No casualties from SA Airlink incident

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretoria - There has been no causalities reported from the SA Airlink plane which failed to stop at a runaway while landing at George Airport on Monday morning.

According to the South African Civil Aviation (SACAA), the cause of the failure of the plane to stop could have been the rainy weather at the airport.

"The SACAA has not received any reports of injuries to either the passengers or crew, but believes that two crew members and three passengers have been sent to hospital for observation," the SACAA said in a statement.

The instrument landing system installation was not damaged as the pilot apparently manoeuvred the aircraft to one side when it overshot the runway end.

The Commissioner for Civil Aviation is concerned about the recent number of accidents/incidents involving the airline.

SACAA manager communications, Kabelo Ledwaba said: "Following the accident that took place in Durban just over 10 weeks ago, the SACAA has instituted an intensified audit programme of the maintenance, operating procedures and pilot training for this airline, over and above the normal safety oversight programme that is conducted on all airlines operating in and into South Africa."

According to Ledwaba, the programme is ongoing with the full co-operation of the airline's management. Corrective actions are instituted as and when deficiencies are identified.

A team of investigators from the SACAA's Accident and Incident Investigations Division has been dispatched to the site to commence the official aircraft accident investigation.

The SACAA is committed to ensuring that the South African air transport environment, which includes the airlines, airports and air traffic control, is as safe as possible at all times.

This includes periods of high activity such as the coming holiday season and of course, in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2010.

The SACAA also indicated that the number of accidents has decreased if compared to statistics at the same time last year.