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Alba Iulia
Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lusaka International Airport in panic as SAA plane hits into stationary truck

Headlines Lusaka International Airport in panic as SAA plane hits into stationary truck

Panic gripped on lookers and passengers at the Lusaka International airport when a South African airways passenger plane hit into a stationary truck upon arrival from Johannesburg.

A ZANIS crew that rushed to scene around 15:00 hours found airport officials and fire service personnel and South African Airways officials inspecting the Boeing 737-700 registration number ZS-SJD.

Uncompromising Airport and Zambia Police Officers could not however allow the crew access to the accident site as management had instructed them not to allow the press.

According to an eye witness who refused to be identified, the plane was about to park at the apron before passengers could disembark when its left wing that was dented, hit into the stationary utility truck registration number KYZ 207.

And both National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) Public Relations Officer Godfrey Chipolyonga and NACL airport manager identified as a Mr. Mwansa refused to comment and referred all queries to South African airways officials.

Efforts to get a comment from South African Airways officials also proved futile as they categorically refused to comment on the matter.

The lady official who was found at the airlines office told the crew that the airline does not give information to the press on such matters and referred the news crew back to the airport officials.

No casualties were recorded and both airport and airline officials further refused to state the number of passengers on board citing security reasons.

This has been the airline policy since the September 11th attack in the United States when two planes were hijacked by suspected Al-Quaeda terrorists hit into the twin towers at the world trade centre in New York.

71 COMMENTS

  1. Why should there be secrecy over an open accident. This is for sure not the fault of SAA. The Pilots movements in the air or on the run way are coordinated by Treaffic controllers when decending and landing. This should surely be the fault of the Zambia Airport Authorities. The should employ well trained staff and Zambia should improve the Air Service Trainning College rather than depending on discharged Air force staff or defence air controllers for civilian air traffic.

  2. Just how can it be, that an accident happens and information is held as TOP clssified secrect? thats going backwards for sure!!

  3. How do the officials running the airport refuse to comment and refer questions to SAA officials? SAA is not reponsible for the operations of the airport.

  4. Lately, there has been alot of funny with incidents in South Africa with major airlines. Last month one airline lost the engine on take off, SAA and the others have had emergency situations where they had to go back an land. All this within the last one month. And the authorities have even grounded one airline and the loss of revenue during this period has been huge.

    So that explained why SAA staff did not want to say anything to anybody as it might just add to the catalog of incidents.

  5. Lusaka International Airport is a disaster about to happen.These are signs that the airport needs an upgrade, security improvement and mordenisation.I am totally surprised that Civil Aviation authority allows the operations to go on. By the way what has the Aviation Authority got to say on the incident because this is their baby, an aircraft was involved in an accident on our soil

  6. Indeed why the secrecy? an accident happened and the public deserves to know.We claim to be a free society yet our right to information is being denied to us. Information is power and as Zambians we deserve that right.I think it is high time we started suing some of these Government officials and organs for denying us our rights. The constitution is clear and should anyone challenge it we need to start suing them until Pipo start respecting the law of the land

  7. The attitude of some Zambian Government officials is so 100 years ago.Why were the news crew not allowed access to the accident scene? Why should a bump with a truck be top secret? Secondly why should SAA coment on the incident when NACL and CAA are the custodian of the Airport? If negligence is found on NACL’s part who is going to pay SAA? The same Zambian public will foot the bill.#6 is right when human rights are infriged people need to be sued.What was a truck doing on the apron any way?

  8. The so called Lusaka international airport which in my own view is just an airstrip reqiures a complete overhaul and be upgraded to international standards. When is the 2000hect.of land lying idle going to be ultilised. The airport has never been upgraded since it was built. Let us avoid learning things the hard way. You dont have to wait for a mojor disastor for you take action.A popular Chiness saying goes, ” in time of peace prepare for war.” The NAC are sleepy guys and its high time they…

  9. Lusaka International Airport is one of the worst in Africa/World. It doesnt have latest DME’s, The Glide…. such that planes land manually in most cases.

    I’m pretty sure the accident had everything to do with Zambians considering the poor standards we have and also, the vast demotivated, lowly paid myriad of employees who never assume personal responsibility in situations.

  10. The whole 7 of you cant think beyond the SAA incident (no insult intended). Its just usual, anywhere in the world the blackout would be normal but for a brief period. When an aircraft lands it taxis up to a certain distance where those big cars come to tow it to the disembarking area. Clearly you would know then that this was the fault of the pilots. The ground crew are wholly to blame for this. Like on any site hazards occur. There are lessons to be learnt from this one.

  11. wondering if anyone from the goverment can see, and read the mind on the partrotic zambian, someone should not take offence, but act positively.
    Thanks all for your positive comments.

  12. i could liken this scene to the causal and effects of the dilapidated Independence stadium. It appears NACL can not invest in the infrastructure development at the largest national airport. There is need for serious consideration in spreading these aprons to allow for plain to park away from the building. There is need for a masterplan for the airport with internal funding before we look elsewhere for sos (typical of Zambia). SOS business should come to an end with the downsizing of cabinet.

  13. #10 you had it all wrong sir. I wonder if you got the details of the accident as repoted here. The plane didn’t hit into the towing car but into the STATIONARY truck. Now the concern here is not about the whole incidence of the accident but the state of the airstrip which looks like a randown warehouse. Planes at our airstrip are never towed to the disembarking area passenger disembark from the apron once the plane is parked. So one wonders what the stationary truck was doing at the apron..

  14. #13, if you can re-read my blog again. My blog does not imply that the tow-car hit the plane. Nay, but I put blame on the ground crew who include staff that drive those cars. The plane hit into a stationary truck coz it was not directed to the disembarking area well. And its not the state of the strip that is under review (though I agree on its deplorable state), its the incident Bwana. We all would be glad to have 21st century airport built in its place I suppose.

  15. it’s obvious people do not appreciate the seriousness of any aviation related incident and the lengths authorities HAVE to go to to ensure a thorough investigation.What NAC did is STANDARD protocol and the last thing they could risk was allowing free flow of information or unrestricted access to the accident scene BEFORE ALL investigations are concluded.This was not a simple RTA people!!!note how accident scenes are cordoned off in developed countries and you will understand NAC’s reaction.

  16. As usual most blogs are busy throwing tantrums and blaming the Government without even basic understanding of procedures. The person at fault i this case is the first officer who was manauvering the aircraft to the parking bay on the apron. At Lusaka all apron vehicles mobile steps,fuel tankers,water bowsers,waste bowsers,luggage tractors,high loaders do not move from their idle stations until the aircraft has comes to a complete stop and the chocks have been engaged.

  17. The first Officer or pilot is guided to the parking bay by a traffic marshall and the line markings on the ground which ensure that the aircraft is positioned in such a way that the engine thrust faces away from the terminal. NACL were correct to keep way the Journalists from the apron. The apron is a high security part of the airport and there is access control.Even airport employees who operate from the apron have to obtain special security clearnce.

  18. Mutunza #10 accidents involving Planes should never be taken lightly, alot of lives are at stake therefore no lessons must be learnt.Coming to your comments # 10 and # 14, it is obvious you are missing the point.The stationary truck is not supposed to be on the Apron that area must be clear.# 15 The accident scene was not open to the public but should have been to the media. I wonder what protocol you are talking about, if journalist can go to a war zone and cover there why shouldnt they do so

  19. Ba Chimwemwe(19),in war zones you are expected to be killed/wounded…not on an airport runway!!Even in war zones journalists are precluded from certain operational areas…being a journalist is not a passport to unrestricted access in any given situation.could this misunderstanding be mirrored by FTJ who foolishly invited journalists to film the tunnels that saved many a leaders life??

  20. #21 Original Pundit
    You have said it as it is….. It is like in a theatre, When doctors perform an operation in the theatre Journalists do not go in because it is a restricted area. any nformation is only given out at a briefing later by doctors or the public relations officer ,why don’t Journalists complain

  21. Bushe kisi kasi kyabelafi mba?Ala amasanso masanso, itambi nitambi.

    Webo nambala 21, walasafye ngamulyakela.FTJ balipangile ikilubo palwa matunnel.

    fifa ba lefi, fifa.(viva ba Levy, viva)

  22. Ba Citizen(22), the problem we have in Zambia is the lack of journalists specialized in investigative reporting…if they are not on the scene to see first hand they are incapable of writing a worthwhile story.that is the difference between the approach of papers like the Post and TOZ or DM.the Post reporters are encouraged to dig deeper and expose,using contacts and expert advice whilst the others wait for complete stories to land on their desks!!

  23. Why there are so many accidents in Chuchu’s adm?Lucky there were no casualties.These accidents are now all over starting mini-buses,mines,stadium, air and soon it will be in rivers.

  24. #20 my point was there should be no truck on the Apron,wether stationary or moving or idle.# 21 there was nothing top secret about a plane hitting a truck. If anything the Journalist should have been allowed so that they could expose the inefficiences of our Airport.Information is power,the public need to know the lack of seriousness at our airport so they can make informed choices.We live in the information age we are therefore entitled to information.

  25. # Ba Jose
    Do not forget that the Gabon air disaster happened under Chiluba adm, the highest number of deaths due to dipression occured under Chiluba’s adm. The highest number of devorce cases in the nation ocured under Chiluba. More than three fatal ZAF accidents occured under Chiluba,Trains collided near Kapiri Glass and killed a lot of people.The highest number of doctors fired was under Chiluba when the protested for better equipment and medicines in hospitals

  26. Ba Chimwemwe(29),put yourself in the shoes of NAC/SAA..would you allow journalists to run riot at an accident scene??For the public to know the inefficiences of our airports/airlines you should instead encourage some old fashioned investigative reporting..this incident should be only part of the story and not the story in itself!!Accidents are accidents, what is of interest are any associated trends which would make better reading for you and me!!

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  27. #29 Ba Chimwemwe do you know where the Apron begins and ends?.It is the are between the taxii way and the airport passengar terminal.All equpment essential for attending to an aircraft is parked at the egde of the Apron called an idle station.This equipment is mostly mounted on trucks.Such as fuel tankers,steps,high loaders,unit loaders, buggage tractors,Auxilliary Power Units,water bowsers,portable extinguishers, landing gear chokes. The truck was where it was supposed to be on the idle station

  28. This govt is the govt of incidents, since chuchu took over its one incident after another, including incidents of his own relatives. Chuchu ala alitipwa (cursed).

  29. Ba Anonymous(33), kwena bane you are being unfair…everything that goes wrong is LPM’s fault??at what point do “incidents” stop being LPM’s fault??i suppose the half hearted editorial control exerted by LT is the govts fault too!! I rest my case….this too maybe LPM’s fault as well !!!

  30. #31 we the public have the right to know what is happening. I can see you are only looking at it from SAA/NACL point of view, what about your side? you are encouraging big companies to cover up ineffecieces at your expense.# 32 i understand you are trying so hard to justify the reason why the accident happened but the bottom line is pipo could have lost lives.That truck should never have been there.Next time it could be worse yet you busy being satisfied with mediocre services. NAC is at fault

  31. Ale ale uyu mwaikye nambala 33 kumipoto.Sikwatako amano yakifyalilwa mba. Kindo bakukita ba Lefi(LPM)?Ala amasanso masanso AND ba Lefi bakaele kabili lyonse pa sondo bena bakukyaliki (church)

  32. 329 Ba Chimwemwe
    I dont know what inefficieny at our airport the Journalists would have unearthed. If they cared to do a bit of reserach and consultation with knowlegeable pertinent people they would have been told that the one at fault was the SAA first officer in charge of manouvering the aircraft to the landing parking position on the runway.He neglected or omitted to follow the white makings on the Apron.
    You must be proud to be a Zambian and not to always castigate anything Zambian.

  33. #30 CITIZEN
    Stastical data on accidents in Chuchu adm can’t be equated to any adm due to high frequency of occuring.These so called infestors they dont care about safety measures for they know for sure what they want in MY country.Money first then safety last.The plight of Zedian work seems like the new deal govt dont care…..Jesus wept

  34. Citizen #38, You seem to know exactly what you’re talking about. I guess most of us are not well versed with airport operations, and i can see that alot of people have jumped to conclusion and automatically blamed the government or airport authority. Journalists like any other citizen are required to abide by the law and have a responsibility to report responsibly. The airport authorities were following procedure.South african pilots have a tendancy to mock our airport and on a few

  35. where was the person who directs the plane on the ground? may be he was dreaming of chibwabwa and nshima! indeed lusaka international airport looks like a farm.

  36. On more the few ocassions that i have flown with them into Lusaka, the Captain has make a silly comment or two upon landing, usually about the state of the runway or the airport. Am i alone in this observation??? So in my view i dont put it past their pilots to have ignored markings on the runway or the Marshal’s signals. Anyways, the report will tell all.

  37. interesting observation, #41. do you just draw the assumption that no one was there to direct the plane? have you ever been on a flight into L.I.Airport where there wasnt anybody there? lets be fair!

  38. As a pilot,the blame is ultimately the airport authority. The tower in Lusaka has a desginated “ground” controller with radio contact and a pair of binoculars who, after the plane has been assigned its parking bay, makes sure it gets there in a safe manner and warns the pilots of any obstacles. Where was he? Also, Lusaka still has no working air or ground radar as well as no DME. Flyover and approach procedures are still done by ZAF in Mumbwa and Mbala years after the state of emergency.

  39. To give NAC credit, last time I flew in to Lusaka the ILS localizer works, but the DME is more important if the pilot does not know the area ground amrks or he is flying in a storm. As for the radar, Italy donated one which was immediately struck by lightening (wonder who the technician was) and the GRZ does not have funds to repair it. Isn’t grounding the first thing you do in an open area like an airfield?

  40. #19 an airstrip is marked with red lines indicating the correct path a towed plan must take. Any other vehicular conveyance has marked lines that they follow and will not terminate haphazardly. A bit of comprehension will do; I guess you are expressing freedom to communicate but that could be done intelligently.

  41. Also the cockpit view is very restricted, unless on some airbuses which have tail and belly mount cameras for pilot views.

  42. blar..blaar..blaar! what are people trying to say? the truth of the matter is that…we are just lucky as there was not fire involved? i don’t think our fire fighters would have the capacity to fight the fire? stop speculation and pray that nothing ever happens at the airport period?

  43. We are all dumbies in aerospace Engineering here. Lets get back to real issues and bring in Professor Chirwa to explain a better Air transport system in Zambia we deserve.Otherwise, it will this shallow and empty talk at sub level.

  44. Here is an excerpt from the Post. It just fits with my intelligent blogging. I understand Airport ops, without belabouring the point. #1-7 and 13 you must read the Post also. Just for the records mates.

    When told that it was alleged that the officer that gives signals had not seen that the plane was beyond the red light, Chipolyonga said only after investigations would it be established as to what led to the accident.

  45. # Dante as a pilot I am sure you will not want to accept that the pilot from SAA was at fault. The incident occured in broad day light with almost 100% visibility. The mashall stood at the designated parking bay and correctly used the signals for the pilots attenttion further the pilot did not follow the ground markings. It was purely the pilots fault.

  46. The story makes a sad reading especially when Zambia is supposed to selling itself as an alternative destination for the 2010 World Cup. My understanding of such accidents is the lack of coordination between the pilot, the marshaller and control tower.

    First before we condemn the airport staff, let as find out at what speed the aircraft taxing when approaching the ramp. In what state was pilot and where the aircraft hydrualic breaking systems functioning properly?

  47. It is sad to read what # 49 had written, Marshalling an aircraft does not the likes of Prof. Chirwa ” with dew respect, however, NACL needs aviation experts that understand the industry. HWat had happened at NACL in the recent past is that it has been infiltrated by people that understand little about aviation.

    Chipolyonga is a novice in aviation. As a spokesman for NACL, he should have given statement that would have satisfied the general public.

  48. There is a video of the crash when it actually happens on youtube and the passengers were definatley not panicking instead they were laughing and saying oh wow. The plane was a 737-800 not 700 and last but not least The wing hit a simple container how could they expect casualties.

  49. Most of you people here complaining about Lusaka International Airport have only been to Jo’burg, Nairobi and Addis Abbaba airports, and airports in the West. Fly through West Africa, or the bigger part of East and Central Africa. Then you will see that our ‘air strip’ as you would want to call it, since you are comparing it to those found at cities processing traffic in multiples of 10 per hour. Only 2 international planes land every 7 hours at LIA. Not many people fly to Zed.

  50. I just think Zambia should invest $5 billion dollars (which we all know is has) in Rehabilitation works in Lusaka since it is not only our capital city but our business capital and growing. Im talking new Glass and Steel offices, airport extensions and apartments buildings in some of the slump areas( no offense) like Mathero, KalingaLinga, etc. Look at the work that is going on in Malawi or the way Harare looks like today. If something is not done, we will surely remain behind in Southern Africa which will be embarrassing. Just letting ya’ll know…

  51. We are bcoming unrealistic with ourselves gentlemen let us try to be a little bit safety consious with some of these thinz which affect nation safety.
    shame zambia shame.

  52. Last Saturday, I was travelling back to London on a BA flight…as we were about to take off, the pilot ubrutly, but very intelligently, put the breaks on – thus preventing a potentially very serious fatal accident. The air-conditioning had proved to be faulty, as he advised later. Thanks to the pilots and crew for showing tremendous professionalism & saving our lives. May God Bless and Protect You All Always.

  53. Vacabe cabe. Are they correct upstaires to keep such incidences as top secrets. Can someone push Bakulubakulu ba Banda to say something. Recent happenings are a sad welcome to his presidence. The small things add up to big isues. Something has to be done about Lusaka international airport sure. We are now failing even to direct trific apart from failing to make money as NAC. Pull up your socks NAC. The accident is entirely your fault :d/

  54. #25, would you please tame you paranoia before red lights start flashing all around you— crazy, crazy, craaaaaazy!!!!!

  55. Dont blame the authorities on the Employing of ”DISCHARGED” ZAF personnel marshallers are to blame for the incident together with the pilots.Remember ZAF does service PRESIDENTIAL planes

  56. Wow. I wish the plane could go in frames so that we see how prepared the fire Brigade is at the Airport.

  57. BA LT, U SHOULD HAVE HIGH FOCSING CAMERAS SO THAT YOU ZOOM IN CAPTURE THE PICTURES. THIS COPY AND PASTE ISSUE IS VERY BAD, IT SHOWS WHY U ALWAYS DEPENDE ON ZANIS FOR INFO. I HAVE BETA INFO THAN YOU ON ALMOST ALL ISSUES. ATA.

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