Tyre burst touchdown for the Deputy President

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What can politely be termed “an eventful touchdown” was reportedly experienced by Deputy President David Mabuza “compliments” of 21 Squadron, the SA Air Force (SAAF) VIP transport unit.

Weekend reports have it the Falcon 900 (ZS-NAN) operated by the AFB Waterkloof-based squadron made a “hair-raising” landing at Cape Town International airport delivering Mabuza to the Mother City for a parliamentary question and answer session last week.

According to the Afrikaans weekend paper Rapport, both tyres on the port (left) side of the bizjet burst after the aircraft touched down. The number two aircraft in the SAAF VIP fleet then reportedly spent hours on a taxiway at the busy international airport waiting for new tyres to be flown in from AFB Waterkloof. As it was raining at the time of landing speculation is the aircraft’s anti-skid system could have failed or was not working properly. This could have caused the skid which burst the tyres.

Making matters worse – and probably causing damage to the wheel hub and oleos – was that the flight deck crew apparently decided to move the lop-sided Falcon nearer to the terminal building.

At the time of publication, neither SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Director: Corporate Communications nor air force media liaison had responded to defenceWeb questions. This publication wanted to know, among others, whether the aircraft was brought back to flightworthiness in Cape Town and if disciplinary action would be taken against the flight deck crew. This after Rapport said the incident would be investigated by the air safety division of the SAAF.

Mabuza was not hurt and appeared in Parliament as scheduled.