South Africa News

Wheel damage on FlySafair aircraft forces return to OR Tambo Airport – Video

A wheel was damaged during take-off on a FlySafair flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Sunday and was forced to return to Johannesburg.

In a statement, the local airline said that flight FA212 had departed OR Tambo International Airport on schedule at 11:32 AM.

“Departure and take-off were normal and the crew set course for Cape Town.

Wheel damage on FlySafair aircraft forces return to OR Tambo Airport

“After take-off, ground staff at OR Tambo reported witnessing what appeared to be damage to one of the aircraft back wheels. The crew were alerted to the observation and the decision was taken to return to Johannesburg,” said Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair.


The airline said the aircraft adjusted course back for Johannesburg and entered a holding pattern near Parys in order to burn off fuel to lighten the aircraft for landing.

“This is standard procedure when there is no urgency to land, as it’s safer to land with a lighter fuel load, and modern Boeing 737 aircraft do not have the facility to dump fuel,” explained Gordon.

They said before landing, the aircraft made a low pass over OR Tambo so that safety and technical teams could inspect the landing gear visually before the final landing.

Wheel damage on FlySafair aircraft forces return to OR Tambo Airport

“The aircraft passed overhead at approximately 13:20, and observers confirmed that one of the four rear wheels had come adrift during the take-off roll.

“The wheel affected was one of the two attached to the left rear landing strut.

“The aircraft proceeded into a second holding pattern over Centurion to burn away any remaining fuel before their final landing approach.”

Gordon said the aircraft landed safely back at OR Tambo International Airport at around 2pm.

“Response vehicles were activated to greet the plane as a precautionary measure.

“After landing, the aircraft was inspected by safety and engineering teams on the runway before the plane was brought back to the terminal.”

He said customers will be transferred to a waiting backup aircraft to proceed to Cape Town.

“The nature and cause of the tyre damage are under investigation by the relevant technical teams and authorities, and we await further details from their investigations of the aircraft and runway.

“We extend our thanks to our customers for their patience and understanding through this process and to our crews both on the ground and in the air for managing this issue with the utmost control and care, exemplifying our commitment to safety above all else” concluded Gordon.

-IOL News

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