SA Express passengers cried‚ prayed and laughed as the plane’s engine failed in mid-air

SA Express passengers cried‚ prayed and laughed as the plane’s engine failed in mid-air

- The engine of an SA Express Passenger plane failed in mid-air

- The plane was en-route from East London to Johannesburg

- About five minutes after take-off there was a loud bang

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An SA Express Passenger plane experienced difficulty today as its engine failed in mid-air. The flight was approximately 5 minutes out of East London when passengers say they heard a loud bang. This was followed by the plane rattling and then a strange, and quiet descent.

Vuyo Zitumane, one of the passengers said the silence was strange as usually on a plane you can constantly hear the sound of the engine in the background. That sound was not there and there was just silence.

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The plane had experienced difficulties right from the start and Zitumane recounts how they were supposed to leave at 6:30 but that 40 minutes after boarding the plane, the plane was still grounded. She mentions how the pilot kept trying to start the engine and it would just fail.

There was apparently a problem with a circuit breaker. The pilot mentioned that he didn’t want to take a chance and an engineer was called to fix the problem so that they could take off safely.

Zitumane remembers how the pilot kept flying forward after the engine cut out and how passengers kept trying to find out why they were still going forward and not turning back. The plane was flying at a very slow pace and all the passengers knew there was a problem.

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The pilot then announced that the one engine had failed. The pilot was eventually able to land the plane, but Zitumane remembers just how crazy things were while they were still airborne.

She says people were praying and laughing. gathers this was because everyone was traumatised and this was how they were reacting to the trauma. She began to imagine her own funeral.

Another SA Express flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth also had to turn back because of engine trouble.

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