Crash report “over the top”
Reports of a near fatal crash between the brand new Air Namibia Airbus A330-200 and a South African Airbus plane has been dismissed as “over the top.” A local daily reported on Monday that a South African Airways (SAA) Airbus A330 almost caused a near fatal accident when it rammed into Air Namibia’s new Airbus A330-200 parked at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday grounding the Air Namibia aircraft. Writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Airbus Spokesperson for sub-Saharan Africa, Linden Birns, dismissed the crash report saying the Air Namibia aircraft was never grounded. Bins said: “Okay, so anyone who read the over-the-top report… about a collision between Air Namibia’s new Airbus A330 and an SAA plane, here are actual, verified and confirmed facts:
“The facts are that the aircraft did not collide with an SAA plane and it wasn’t grounded. The wingtip on the SAA plane scraped against the side of the winglet on the Air Namibia plane (the winglet is a small fin attached to the end of the wing which helps to lower the fuel consumption by streamlining the air as it flows over the tapered end of the wing). It’s not a safety-critical item and the aircraft is quite safe to fly without either or both winglets.
“The damaged winglet was taken off the wing and the aircraft has been operating without it. In any event, a new winglet has already been delivered to Lufthansa Technik (which maintain’s Air Namibia’s planes) for installation on the plane – it’ll take about 2hrs to fit it onto the wing.”
The Namibia Airports Company also issued a statement Wednesday confirming that the two aircraft wings “collided” causing minor damage to the left wing tip of the Air Namibia aircraft. The airports company said it will avail information once the Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigations has concluded their investigation.