Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm
Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm

Private airliner Proflight has revealed that it has withdrawn the aircraft that was involved in a hailstorm on Tuesday.

The airline says the Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft will be out of service until the aircraft undergoes thorough maintenance and is certified to fly again.

In a statement, the airline confirms that confirms on Tuesday, while descending through cloud, its aircraft encountered severe hail as it came into land at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

It said the aircraft had 41 passengers and five crew members on board and landed safely and that no one was injured during the incident.

“The damage caused by the hailstorm was significant and there was potentially a lightning strike in addition but this is pending closer inspection and not yet confirmed,” it said.

Flight P00705 departed Livingstone Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport at 14:26 and arrived in Lusaka at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 15:26.

“As a result of the incident, the aircraft will be out of service until the aircraft undergoes thorough maintenance and is certified to fly again. In the meantime, Proflight is working closely with its operations and safety departments to minimise disruption to schedules.”

“Safety is Proflight Zambia’s primary concern in order to provide the highest world-class aviation services to Zambia,” said Director Flight Operations, Captain Josias Walubita.

“Weather incidents are not uncommon in the aviation sector at this time of year, and Proflight has robust systems and procedures to ensure safety.
“We commend Capt. Walter Nhliziyo and his crew for their professionalism in dealing with the incident in the manner in which they are trained to do, and thank the passengers who were on board for their support.”

Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm
Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm

And some passengers shared terrifying accounts of the incident moments after landing at KKIA.

Swithin Haangala said the accident was one to the most horrifying episodes of his life.

“On take off pilot warns us about storms and turbulence between Choma and Mazabuka. As we climb, there is the usual turbulence, nothing untoward. We settle into flight and all is calm. I notice a turn and think to myself that the pilot is avoiding some clouds,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“We are now just over thirty minutes into the flight and by my calculation we are definitely between Choma and Mazabuka. The announcement from the pilot comes. We have started our descent. I feel relaxed. It seems the storm warning was just a precaution.”

“And then a loud bang, a whoosh of noise and heavy rain pelts the plane. We lose altitude and start dancing in the air. Still nothing to worry about. The cabin attendant who is preparing for landing takes the seat next to me. “Time to sit down”, he tells me. I am seated, my hands now firmly gripping the seat rest in from of me. I let out a nervous laugh. “Are you scared, I ask him”. He smiles assuringly at me. “If I get scared how would you react with the other passengers.” A few minutes later and the plane has ridden the storm and he goes to his usual seat.”

He added, “Everything is all calm, but I have a searing pain in my left ear and my head feels like it’s being torn off. I look around. Everyone seems calm but my head is pounding and the pain in the ear is becoming unbearable. After a few moments the pain calms down a bit and we land safely and smoothly.”

“As we come out of the plane, we see the damage on the plane. Surprisingly all of us share the pain of the headache and the pounding ear. We seem to have just survived a near disaster but thanks to the pilots and crew, none of us realize the danger we have been in thanks to the Proflight crew.”

Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm
Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft after surviving the hailstorm
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25 COMMENTS

  1. that must have been a scary rough final part of the flight
    I am glad everyone is safely on the ground.
    even mere turbulences can be scary not to mention how uncomfortable esp on a small plane such as this one
    I think the captain/pilot underestimated the storm, otherwise they’d have changed to course to avoid the storm
    good ending to something that would have had a disastrous outcome

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    • Those are bloody good Pilots but they are also reckless. why didn’t they check the weather forecast in advance or can Zambian meteorologists event forecast accurately?

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    • What’s more shocking is that the native are shocked by this, when this happens almost everyday somewhere on earth and aircraft are designed to absorb this as for pilot they are rained for this nothing special. Its like a bus driver driving those heavy rain; try flying through St. Elmo’s Fire

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  2. Thank the God of mercies they survived the severe hail storm.Zambia Airways never survived the mismanagement hailstorms of their own making.

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    • Proflight was founded by a former Zambia Airways Pilot Tony Irwin who is also CEO. Captain Phillip Lemba Director at Proflight who has over 50years experience in the cockpit is also a former Zambia Airways Pilot. The quality of the 2 former Zambia Airways Pilots can be seen in the new Pilots they have trained at Proflight inuding the ones who averted this near disaster.

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  3. Yaba, why did the storm target the wrong plane, I think it was intended for that Gulfstream Jet enroute to the Emirates.

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  4. It makes sense for this plane to be given to that rat Lungu for his official duties. There is no need to fix it. Just let him be on the plan alone on auto pilot, it will do us all a big favour as a country

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  5. This is a small plane,I remember on my way to Atlanta with Delta airline(B777-200LRLR),same incident happened to us,the plane was not even damaged.

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  6. This is a small plane,I remember on my way to Atlanta with Delta airline(B777-200LRLR),same incident happened to us,the plane was not even damaged.

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  7. This smells squarely of UPND interference. I wonder what they threatened the pilots with when the pilots wanted to change the flight path to avoid the storm.f

    Ati ‘ we have to be in Lusaka, there is a party at HaHa’s house. He has slaughtered an animal’

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  8. Skilled Airmanship at it’s best!
    Courage and skill is what saved the day!
    Thank God the Pilots were not just believers but doers of the word!
    Imagine if the Pilots were fanatics who just kneel down to pray for a miracle instead of flying the plane?
    It’s not enough to just believe! Knowing is everything!
    Do you believe you have two hands or you KNOW you have two hands?
    Great job guys!
    Will continue flying with you guys!
    Those not ready to take the risk of flying should take the bus!

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  9. WE thank God because everyone is safe on the groud. We also thank the pilots for the strength they hard. Devil is a lair.

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  10. I think Its HH and UPND’s witchcraft. They thought Lungu was there alas God could not allow innocent souls to die. Kkkkkkk.

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