The main runway at AFB Waterkloof has been closed after a four-engine transport aircraft suffered a nose-gear collapse.
Unconfirmed reports on an aviation blog site say the South African Air Force (SAAF) Lockheed Martin C-130BZ Hercules was performing a ‘touch-and-go’ at the airbase near Centurion at approximately 7pm last night. This is a training procedure during with an aircraft approaches the runway to land, its wheels briefly touch the runway before the aircraft takes-off again.
The crew had confirmed to the control tower that the undercarriage was down and that they had three green indicator lights in the cockpit, indicating that the two main wheels and the nose wheel was down and locked. Shortly thereafter the crew radioed a distress message stating that they believed a tyre had burst.
The Hercules was still on the runway on Tuesday morning with what appeared to be a collapsed nose undercarriage.
It is not known how serious the damage is or the cause of the collapse. The SAAF was asked for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.
Pic: A SAAF C130BZ pictured at Swartkop airbase in March last year.