Faizel Patel
2 minute read
8 Apr 2022
6:58 am

FlySafair grounds one of its planes after technical glitch

Faizel Patel

The flights from East London for Cape Town were diverted to Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

Photo: Supplied

FlySafair grounded one of its commercial aircraft on Thursday to investigate a technical error after having to divert two flights on 30 March and 5 April.

The airline has since been cleared to take to the skies after resolving a technical error.

During both flights the same plane had to be diverted to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape. The plane was flying from East London to Cape Town on both occasions.

FlySafair said during both flights, the captain was alerted to an indication error from a small component on the wing after departure and followed safety protocol by landing in Gqeberha rather than continuing onto Cape Town.

“During the first incident on 30 March, the technicians cycled through a round of checks and the indication was found to be a false warning. After the second alert on 5 April, FlySafair decided to ground the aircraft in question for more comprehensive checks.”

Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, said on both occasions the airline’s flight and cabin crews stepped in to ensure the safety for all passengers on board.

“Due to the nature of the landings, the team did not call for the brace position on either of the flights and rather assured passengers that the captain had taken the decision to divert the aircraft to Gqeberha,” said Gordon.

“It’s never ideal to divert an aircraft because it delays customers and results in a number of costs for the airline, but it’s our policy to always act conservatively when it comes to any possible safety concerns. Despite the inconvenience, we know that our customers appreciate that we are a concerned and conscientious operator that prioritises safety.”

Aviation safety in South Africa has been in the spotlight recently following a number of incidents related to aircraft maintenance.

Last month Kulula and British Airways were given the go-ahead to start operating again after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) lifted Comair’s suspension.

The SACAA suspended Comair’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) over safety-related issues, in a suspension that was initially meant to last for 24 hours.

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