Nationwide flight hit by mechanical fault

A Nationwide aircraft—flying from Livingstone in Zambia to Johannesburg—was forced to turn back a few minutes into the flight due to a mechanical fault, the airline said on Wednesday.

Nationwide corporate quality director Rodger Whittle said flight 203 left Livingstone Airport at 1:15pm on Tuesday but had to turn back because hydraulic fluid was leaking from a faulty pipe.

“The leak was noticed early into the flight, it turned back and had a safe landing. There was a five-hour delay, though, because we had to get the hydraulic fluid from Zimbabwe,” Whittle said.

He said the same flight was repaired and it departed with 93 passengers to South Africa on Tuesday evening.

On November 30, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded Nationwide when it suspended its approval of the airline’s aircraft maintenance organisation and suspended the certificates of airworthiness of Nationwide’s fleet of aircraft.

A week later, the SACAA reinstated Nationwide’s certificate of airworthiness. ‒ Sapa

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