Fresh details have emerged after a Kenya Airways (KQ) plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, when one of its engines burst into flames.
The plane which had 142 passengers and 10 crew members en-route to Johannesburg, South Africa, from Nairobi, Kenya, managed to land safely, thus averting a potential disaster, but concerns have been raised on how KQ handled the emergency situation.
In a report by the Daily Nation, internal investigation into the terrifying incident which took place on February 12, 2019, revealed there was laxity at the airline’s operations control centre.
It was alleged the duty manager at the control centre who was expected to assist those on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner did not have a flight plan for the plane. The said manager then reportedly proceeded to advise the pilots to return to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) without prior knowledge on the exact location of the plane.
The airline had previously indicated the plane simply developed a mechanical problem mid-air and that a team of engineers was dispatched to Dar es Salaam to assess the situation. The engineers reportedly found the plane had developed a problem on one of its engines, and that the issue was fixed and the aircraft cleared to fly again.
Responding to queries regarding the February 12 incident, KQ’s CEO Sabastian Mikosz was quoted saying the engineers were able to establish what led to the emergency landing and recommended that the affected engine be replaced.
The airline initially appeared to downplay the magnitude of the incident, but the internal probe revealed the engine actually caught fire, and that was what forced the crew to make an emergency landing in Dar es Salaam after shutting down the engine
The report indicated the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had hours earlier landed at JKIA from New York before departing for South Africa.
By Jacob Onyango