Nov 27 2007 -- Johannesburg, South Africa. It's becoming a familiar story: once again, SAA passengers were stuck for hours inside a plane on the runway of Johannesburg airport while technicians frantically tried to fix technical problems which should never have occurred while it was getting ready for takeoff: this time it was a 'broken navigation system'.
- Exactly how could this plane have passed the laid-down battery of intensive safety checks which are always required under FAA and civil-aviation rules -- if it still had a 'broken navigation system' while already sitting on the runway?
SAA's technicians still believed on Monday-night that they could 'repair the fault', but it had 'taken longer than expected' and that's why SAA finally decided that the passengers had to be put on different flights later that day.
"The problem wasn't serious", said SAA's hard-working spindoctor Robyn Chalmers after the latest 'technical-hitch' fiasco, also repeating their now very familiar mantra that 'putting safety came first' and thus they decided to not use this particular plane this time around, but that the matter hadn't been 'serious' and had never 'endangered the passengers' in any way.
Also see previous reports this past month:
22-Nov-2007 Readers worried about SA aircraft safety http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19977&
20-Nov-2007 Two more SA flights in 'technical difficulties' - how long before SAA loses its FAA approval? http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19937&
20-Nov-2007 SA commercial airlines' growing technical problems: here's some reasons why: http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19930&
20-Nov-2007 SA Express flight returns to CT Airport due to 'technical hitches' http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19826&
16-Nov-2007 SAA aircraft-safety endangered by Mbeki's blacks-only hiring laws warn technicians:
15-Nov-2007 SA Airways sued by Solidarity trade union to stop mass firing of white aircraft-maintenance engineers:
12-Nov-2007 S.Africa: SAA was about to fire 1,000-2,000 skilled white technicians before the 737's engines fell off...
12-Nov-2007 S Africa: 'Metal fatigue' caused loss of engine claims SAA
09-Nov-2007 SAA airbus 'parts missing': 200+ passengers stranded in Dakar, Senegal http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19605&