A Kenya Airways plane carrying passengers from Johannesburg to Nairobi developed a mechanical problem on air, leading to an unscheduled landing back to the airport.
The passengers aboard the flight from South Africa to Kenya got typically scared when they heard the pilot declare an emergency and the plane landed safely at the OR Tambo airport.
All passengers aboard walked away uninjured, but with quite a tale to tell.
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The Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board, Ezekiel Mutua, was on the plane during the incident. The film Chief said that all passengers became afraid immediately the aircraft had problems during takeoff as they detected it was not normal.
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“We took off from OR Tambo at noon yesterday Tuesday and we suspected a problem on take off but somehow we successfully settled in the skies and we’re about to exit the South African airspace towards Zimbabwe when the Captain announced a Transponder failure and said we were returning to Jo’burg.”
A plane transponder is a device for receiving radio signals and automatically transmitting a different signal.
Mutua added that, normally, the landing was supposed to take 15 minutes but it took up to more than hour to get the plane down. Of course, the struggle sent chills down spines of all the passengers who thought their families will never see them again.
After the Kenya Airways plane landed, Engineers were on hand to rectify the problem and two hours later, they were back in the sky back to Nairobi. On getting to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the passengers were alerted once more that the flight could not land and so were redirected to Mombasa.
According to Mutua:
“The Captain announced that we were being rerouted to Mombasa because the crew was approaching the IATA maximum 15 hours on duty and exceeding it would occasion penalties including withdrawal of their licenses.”
He further slammed the substandard services from the national carrier, urging the government to look into the issues that have badly affected it in the past few years.