The CASA 212 light transport aircraft, operated by 44 Squadron, was involved in a “hard landing” at AFB Bloemspruit shortly after 10h00 this morning. AFB Bloemspruit shares a runway with Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein).
It is understood that the aircraft landed heavily on its nose wheel and thereafter ran off the runway. The SAAF flight crew were uninjured. It is not known if any passengers were aboard at the time of the incident.
Four CASA 212s are currently in the SAAF inventory, inherited in 1994 from the air wings of the former Bophuthatswana (1, 1985), Transkei (2, 1986) and Venda (2, 1988).
The accident marks the SAAF’s third incident in the last three months. On December 5 eleven people died when their 35 Squadron C-47TP crashed in bad weather in the Drakensberg mountains. The aircraft was on a routine shuttle run from AFB Waterkloof near Pretoria to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. Four of the crew were from 35 Squadron, based at AFB Ysterplaat in the Cape.
On November 7, a C-47TP Dakota of 35 Squadron was involved in a landing accident at Mthatha Airport, when it bounced on landing and left the runway. Damage included a torn-off main undercarriage, bent propeller and damaged engine and wing. Fortunately, none of the 16 passengers on board was injured.
The SANDF is expected to issue a press release shortly on the CASA 212 incident.