What’s up with the South African airline industry lately? All I see lately are reports of problems and I’m considering staying on the ground for the near future. Just take a look at the following headlines taken from The Times over the last couple of days:
- 07 Nov – Plane in trouble over Cape Town / Boeing engine falls off on takeoff
- 13 Nov – Plane turns back with low oil pressure
- 14 Nov – Plane crashes into N17
- 17 Nov – Mango plane forced to turn back
Looking a few months back there seems to be at most one incident reported in South Africa per month, oh and one in Thailand which had some major fatalities.
- 28 Aug – Student pilot dies in Lanseria crash
- 13 Sep – Plane crash leaves 2 dead and many injured
- 17 Sep – Plane crash in Thailand’s Phuket airport leaves 87 people dead
So how come have we had four incidents in November alone? It doesn’t make me feel too good when the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reports in their annual report for 2006/2007 that there were 174 aviation incidents resulting in 50 fatalities – an average of over 14 incidents per month.
I must say that I’m not surprised that there are so many air incidents when you consider how the airports and airlines are run. Have you ever caught a Kulula flight that wasn’t delayed? I haven’t. Every time I climb onboard a local flight I wonder when last the plane was serviced and how many flights its flown since.
I suppose the air fatalities are nothing compared to the road fatalities but come on, what’s going on here?