WATCH | Light aircraft gatecrashes OR Tambo taxiway, as 'pilot drops off friend late for a flight'

2019-09-04 12:32
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The light aircraft that made an unscheduled landing at South Africa's busiest airport in Johannesburg, is currently under investigation

The A RV-10 light aircraft can be seen landing at OR Tambo International in the video above, landing what appears to be dangerously close to the engines of aircraft already on the taxiway, preparing to take off. The incident, which happened Thursday, 29 August 2019 was confirmed by Air Traffic Navigation Services at OR Tambo International (ATNS) spokesperson Percy Morokane. 

"We view this incident in a serious light and would like to assure the flying public of our commitment to their safety - at all times," Morokane said at the time.

He also confirmed the investigation has since been passed on to the South African Civil Aviation Authority.   

SACAA spokesperson, Kabelo Ledwaba confirmed to Traveller24 that the SACAA has an interest in probing this matter in order to "verify whether there was any contravention of the applicable civil aviation regulations. At this stage we cannot disclose any other information". 

*UPDATE - Friday, 6 September*

The light aircraft that made an unscheduled landing at South Africa's busiest airport in Johannesburg, has incited major criticism.

The A RV-10 light aircraft can be seen landing at OR Tambo International in the video above, landing what appears to be dangerously close to the engines of aircraft already on the taxiway, preparing to take off. The incident was confirmed by Air Traffic Navigation Services at OR Tambo International (ATNS) spokesperson Percy Morokane. 

"We view this incident in a serious light and would like to assure the flying public of our commitment to their safety - at all times," says Morokane.

Some in the FlyAfrica aviation group have criticised the light aircraft pilot's actions calling it "reckless" and calling out their "lack of understanding on how dangerous it is to fly close to jet engine aeroplane". 

We've all run late for a flight at some point and thought about extreme ways in which we could possibly stop time or the flight.

Some people have resorted to extreme measures like calling in a bomb threat - just don't do that. And then others can call a friend, who just so happens to be a pilot. This is apparently what happened on Thursday, last week - according to a post shared on FlyAfrica

READ: OR Tambo International acts swiftly as suspected drone flies too close to runway, affecting flights

Dale de Klerk, the owner of Alpi Aviation SA posted the above clip to the group saying, "A RV-10 light aircraft entered the airspace at OR Tambo without having filed a flight plan and proceeded to land on the taxiway adjacent to the runway closest to the terminal building, while other aircraft were queuing up to take off. According to an ATC controller, the pilot of the RV-10 said he was dropping off a friend who needed to catch a connecting flight. As you do."  

The video has since gone viral across several social media platforms, raising safety concerns at South Africa's busiest international airport.

Traveller24 contacted Air Traffic Navigation Services at OR Tambo International (ATNS), with ATNS spokesperson Percy Morokane confirming the incident.

"ATNS is aware of the video clip that is currently on some social media platforms. As it is procedural, this incident was reported to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) soon-after it happened on Thursday, 29 August 2019."

Morokane says the incident is being investigated and could not provide any further details at this point.

"We view this incident in a serious light and would like to assure the flying public of our commitment to their safety - at all times."

Some in the FlyAfrica aviation group have criticised the light aircraft pilot's actions calling it "reckless" and calling out their "lack of understanding on how dangerous it is to fly close to jet engine aeroplane". 

The investigation into the incident is continuing. 

*Compiled by Selene Brophy

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