the video above went viral for its peculiarity, the investigation into the
light aircraft plane that made an unscheduled landing at South Africa’s busiest
airport, OR Tambo International Airport has quickly turned serious.
The incident which took place at
OR Tambo, on Thursday, 29 August 2019 has the aviation industry questioning
exactly how such a breach of the controlled airspace of the national key point.
The South African Civil
Aviation Authority says it has put together an independent task team to
investigate, calling the incident “extremely dangerous”.
The incident relates to the
private flight involving a small aircraft called RV-10, which took off
from the Free State Province’s New Tempe Airport in Bloemfontein.
It is a four-seat, single-engine,
low-wing, amateur built airplane sold in kit form, according to the SACAA’s
classification, which regards the model as “experimental, and is mainly
used for recreational purposes”.
According to the preliminary
information it was a private flight, carrying three people on board, two
passengers and a pilot who holds a Private Pilot’s Licence. Private Pilot’s
Licence holders are not authorised to conduct any commercial
Air Traffic Navigation Services
spokesperson Percy Morokane says “many questions need to be
answered”, as stated by the SACAA.
“We think it will be fair to
respond to any queries relating to the entire incident once requisite
investigation has been completed.
“We strongly believe that by
issuing this statement, SACAA’s intention was not to conduct its investigation
through any other platform, including the media. We hereby request that the
SACAA be given the space and time to fully investigate this incident. We have
and will still cooperate fully with this ongoing investigation process,”
“While we are grateful that this
was a non-fatal incident, which we view as bizarre, worrying, and an extremely
dangerous act, we are resolute that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring
that those responsible are held accountable. All facts, evidence, and sequence
of events and or decisions by all involved will be interrogated thoroughly,”
Poppy Khoza, head of the SACAA stated previously.
“Even though the aircraft did not
sustain any damage, and no injuries to persons on board or on the ground were
reported, what is very strange is the fact that the pilot landed the aircraft
on a taxiway instead of a runway,” Khoza says.
*Compiled by Selene Brophy