FlySafair passengers experience mid-air panic due to engine trouble

Picture: @emirates, Twitter

A FlySafair flight was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff on Christmas morning. The flight, from Joburg to Cape Town, landed at the point of departure an hour after it originally took off.

According to Business Insider SA, FlySafair’s flight FA113 took off from Johannesburg OR Tambo airport at 14:21 on Friday. FlySafair chief marketing officer Kirby Gordon told the publication, “Shortly after the flight took off the crew were alerted to a performance issue on the right engine.”

“The crew immediately implemented all required procedures, did the necessary checks, and decided to initiate a controlled return to Johannesburg. Passengers were briefed that there was a concern regarding the engine, that the aircraft would be returning to Johannesburg, and that full safety protocols would be observed with regard to the response vehicles etc.” added Gordon.

Once the plane landed the passengers were immediately moved to another flight and left for Cape Town at 16:20. Two of the original passengers refused to board another flight.

FlySafair technical maintenance is done in-house unlike most of the other airlines in SA who depend on SAA Technical.

Explaining the performance issue, Gordon told Business Insider SA, “From what we see the engine performance degraded steadily rather than failing instantly.”

FlySafair’s technical investigations are still underway into why there was an issue with the engine. “There are no immediately obvious technical problems, so it is being sent to a specialist workshop for further investigation,” Gordon said.

“The crew on FA113 are very experienced and did a sterling job in following protocol to the letter. Minor technical issues like this do unfortunately happen from time to time and these are the sorts of things that our crew train for all the time.”