A Silverstone Air plane caused panic today when the wheel fell off during takeoff. You’d think that, with a wheel missing from the landing gear, the safest place to be would be in the air, but, as they say, what goes up, must come down. The Dash 8 landed safely, deplaning its four passengers and five crew at Eldoret International Airport.
The Bombardier Dash-8-300, registered 5YBWG, was scheduled to take passengers from Lodward airstrip in Turkana County to Nairobi earlier today. It had just four passengers and five members of crew on board. Upon taking off, the number three wheel assembly (the inside left one) became detached from the landing gear.
Silverstone Air plane makes emergency landing at Eldoret AIRPORT. It lost one wheel during take off. pic.twitter.com/wm8IHwWokK
— Road Alerts. || 🇰🇪 (@RoadAlertsKE) October 28, 2019
Although the aircraft took off safely, the wheel fell to the ground just outside the airport. Thankfully helpful locals were on hand to recover the wheel, delivering it by hand to the airport office. The local police department told the Nation,
“The wheel was collected by members of public several metres outside the airport. It was recovered and taken to airport’s managers office.”
While the flight crew may not have initially been aware of the situation, they were promptly alerted by ground staff, letting them know they needed to land the plane. Emergency services at Moi International Airport in Eldoret were placed on standby to receive the stricken aircraft.
Thankfully, around 45 minutes after takeoff, the Dash 8 landed safely in Eldoret. Passengers were unhurt but visibly shaken by the experience. The airline released a statement on Twitter in relation to the incident.
This is our official statement regarding the incident today with our aircraft in Lodwar. pic.twitter.com/tk8hvGQnV9
— Silverstone Air (@silverstoneair) October 28, 2019
A spate of incidents
For Silverstone Air, things are beginning to look rather bleak. Just a couple of weeks ago, a Fokker 50 operated by the airline skidded off a runway in Nairobi. While nobody was hurt, the aircraft looked to be something of a wreck as a result.
Silverstone Air is a trusted airline. Accidents happen even in the best managed companies. I just hope it carries out a quick investigation to establish the cause of the Wilson airport accident to avoid a similar one in future. 📸Courtesy: pic.twitter.com/O73lz2KQDT
— MARIGIRI🇰🇪 (@Dmarigiri_) October 11, 2019
Then, just yesterday, a story emerged about the same airline, in which one of its aircraft allegedly struck a smaller plane while maneuvering at Wilson Airport.
CCTV footage: Sources within this airline will not sleep till Kenyans know how a wreckage this Silverstone airline is. Their plane hits another while taxing yesterday and the story was buried by management. Their carelessness is beyond belief. The pilot did not stop. Unbelievable pic.twitter.com/o2EqRKPwwL
— Lord Abraham Mutai (@ItsMutai) October 28, 2019
Unsurprisingly, Kenya’s civil aviation regulators have now launched a probe to see what’s going on at the carrier. The KCCA Director General Cpt Gilbert Kibe said today that the agency would be carrying out an immediate inspection and audit of the airline, as per the disclosure below.
According to reporting by Capital FM, Kibe said,
“As per the provision of Civil Aviation Act No. 21 of 2013, amended in 2016, KCAA is mandated to manage, regulate and operate a safe, secure and efficient Civil Aviation system in Kenya. The audit is being performed to determine the level of compliance with the current Civil Aviation regulations and their own company approved manuals and procedures.”