What on earth is going on in the South Africa aviation industry - (1) an SAA pilot pulls a handbrake turn on the runway at Cape Town airport, (2) a Nationwide flight loses an engine whilst taking off from Cape Town Airport for Johannesburg, dumps fuel and returns to land at Cape Town Airport; and now, 12 Nov 2007, (3) Kulula flight MN103 shuts down one of its engines and returns to Johannesburg Airport.
The Kulula airline flight in an MD82 was on its way from Johannesburg to Cape Town, when it experienced low oil pressure on one of its two engines - leading the Captain to shut down the engine as a precautionary measure.
Kulula airline is in the process of replacing its fleet of MD82s with Boeing 737-400s. South African Airways Technical maintains the MD82s.
Rassie Erasmus, a passenger on the Kulula.com flight, was quoted in Beeld as saying "I looked around and saw people praying. The whole time I thought the plane was going to fall."
The (getting busier) Civil Aviation Authority will conduct an investigation into the incident.
SAA Technical, a service and maintenance contractor for all three airlines involved in the incidents over the last week (SAA, Nationwide and Kulula) is being investigated by the Democratic Alliance, to see whether they're doing their job properly. South African Airways does service and maintenance work for Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, BA/Comair, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad, Kulula.com, Lufthansa, Malaysia, Qantas, TAP Portugal, Mango Olympic, Qatar, SAA, TAAG Angola and Thai Airways.