South African News

FlySafair plane makes emergency landing after tire burst

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – FlySafair on Sunday confirmed that one of its flights — FA212 from Johannesburg to Cape Town — was required to return to Johannesburg after its wheel was damaged during take-off.

In a statement, the airline said the aircraft left OR Tambo International Airport on schedule at 11:32am but after take-off, ground staff at OR Tambo reported witnessing what appeared to be damage to one of the aircraft’s back wheels.

“The crew were alerted to the observation and the decision was taken to return to Johannesburg,” said FlySafair spokesperson Kirby Gordon.

“Flight FA212 adjusted course back for Johannesburg and entered a holding pattern near Parys to burn off some 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,” Gordon 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.

“The aircraft passed overhead at about 1.20pm, 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 remaining fuel before their final landing approach.”

Gordon said the plane was designed to be able to land with the faulty tyre.

Two-and-a-half hours after take-off, the plane landed at OR Tambo and 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,” Gordon said.

Passengers were loaded onto a backup aircraft and then proceeded with their journey to Cape Town.

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