SAAF bringing C212 back into service?


The South African Air Force (SAAF) may be bringing an accident-damaged CASA 212 light transport aircraft back into service. It currently has two airworthy examples.

The SAAF inherited four C212s in 1994 from the air wings of the former Bophuthatswana, Transkei and Venda states. One (8021) was damaged in October 2008 after it got caught in a gust of wind on takeoff from Bloemspruit, with the starboard wing hitting the ground and causing the aircraft to come to rest 90 degrees from the runway.

On 17 January 2013 C212 8020 landed heavily on its nose wheel and thereafter ran off the runway at AFB Bloemspruit, coming to rest with its left wingtip in the veldt. It was apparently written off as uneconomical to repair.

That leaves C212s 8011 and 8010 flying – they both took part in a parade at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 11 May when Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, the 36th King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, was made Honorary Colonel of 44 Squadron.

Seen in a hangar at AFB Waterkloof was 8020, evidently undergoing maintenance work. Although the aircraft was up on jacks, the landing gear appeared to be mainly intact, indicating the aircraft was being prepared for re-entry into service.

The type is operated by 44 Squadron based at AFB Waterkloof.

At the time of publication the SAAF had not responded to a request for comment.