Air Botswana General Manager, Sakhile Reiling, has assured the public that Air Botswana is not a ‘flying coffin’, following a nose wheel failure experienced by an ATR42-500 aircraft last week.
“Such incidents are not common and Batswana should not lose confidence in their national airline,” said Reiling. “Every aircraft we fly goes through our maintenance programme designed to enhance safety and eliminate such occurrences and this particular aircraft has gone through the same process.”
Currently, the technical problem is under probe by the Civil Aviation, to establish what might have caused that failure.
“We are waiting for the results of what might have caused this failure so that we can have the aircraft back in the air,” said Reiling. She, however, said other aircraft that came in after managed to land safely with no problem.
The ATR 42-500 aircraft with 47 passengers en-route from Johannesburg experienced a noise wheel failure upon landing at Sir Seretse Khama International airport. She confirmed that there were no injuries and passengers were evacuated smoothly from aircraft.
Reiling said despite the technical problem, all passengers were evacuated without injuries. She said post trauma counseling will be provided to all the passengers.
Reiling said since this unfortunate incident, they have since checked all their aircrafts to ensure safety. In addition she said they have confidence in their pilots and controllers.
“We spent a lot of money and time in training our workers regularly and they can handle such issues well,” she said. “Clients should not hesitate to use airline; this is an unfortunate incident that should not drive them away,” said Reiling.