Boks safe after mid-air scare

2011-07-15 21:21

Johannesburg - The Springbok rugby team's flight to Australia was forced to return shortly after departing from Johannesburg on Friday night due to engine failure.

"The Qantas flight on which the team was travelling was forced to return to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg less than two hours after take-off," the SA Rugby Union said in a statement.

Saru said the third engine on the Boeing 747 overheated, but it returned and landed safely in Johannesburg. The team would remain in Johannesburg overnight.

SARU says the plane returned safely to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, landing less than two hours after its departure.

"There was a loud bang and a bump and the captain told us we would be unable to continue our journey to Australia as engine No. 3 had failed," team spokesman Andy Colquhoun said. "So we dumped fuel and returned to Johannesburg. Everyone is fine."

Colquhoun added that the 28-man squad would stay overnight in Johannesburg and was waiting for advice from Qantas on when they would be able to travel to Australia.

Several Springboks and Springbok staff members reported the incident on the social network Twitter.

Alistair Hargreaves - “@Al_Hargreaves: So Quantas have to send another aircraft which means 1 more night in jhb. @GaryGoldrugbyiq reckons he checked flames coming out the engine!”

“@Al_Hargreaves: "The Springboks have just landed... In joburg. One of the engines failed and we had to turn around. Beautiful start to the trip! #hack”

John Smit - “@JohnSmit123: Wow,just had to do an emergency landing at OR Tambo,we lost an engine after take off but safely landed now!My second safe emergency landing!”

Ashley Johnson - @ashj1605: Back in joburg!! Our nr3 enjin exploded with a big bang!!!

Gary Gold - “@GaryGoldrugbyiq: Wish I never watched #carteblanche on the #quantas 380 incident! Our engine just blew on take off and we just returned to Jhb, not much fun!”

Sports journalist Brendan Nel, speaking to rugby writer JJ Harmse had the following to say - “@BrendenNel: Just spoke to jj harmse who was on the plane. Says it wasn't that bad, they were on a 747 and not an A380...”

“@BrendenNel: Jj reckons it felt "like a speed bump" not too bad and they only knew when it was announced over the intercom.”

South Africa is scheduled to kick off the Tri-Nations against Australia in Sydney next Saturday July 23.

The Springboks play Australia in their opening match of the Tri-Nations in Sydney next weekend, before they travel to Wellington for the second and final match of their away leg against New Zealand.


  • suspiciousme - 2011-07-15 21:28

    Qantas is getting a bit of a rep!

      Dwarslat - 2011-07-15 22:27

      Ek dink daar is 'n paar Springbokke wat die vliegtuig sitplekke met hul fundasies gaan opeet as hulle nou weer moet vertrek.

      René Müller - 2011-07-15 22:28

      Getting one?? They must be one of the worst airlines (except for some African countries) - if you've followed Carte Blanche. I would have done my nut, wth!!! Even SAA are a better option. As far as I know its only Quantas and SAA flying direct to Australia!! Thank heavens the engine did not collapse half way over the ocean. Hate stuff like this!

      Liberty - 2011-07-16 03:10

      But Quantas have an excellent safety record

      montecristo - 2011-07-16 06:51

      Quantas do have an excellent safety record - of all the 'oldest' airlines never a fatal accident under the name Quantas - but quite afew little incidents creeping lately. It needs to take heed (triangle of accidents)

      Grayman - 2011-07-16 08:42

      @Rene: It is not as bad as it is made out to be. These aircraft run on a huge safety margin and an engine failure will not put anyone at risk. That said, Qantas does have a rather disturbing recent history, however, none fatal.

      René Müller - 2011-07-16 09:03

      Grayman, still nerve wrecking. It's not like you can get out if there's engine problems! I'm a frequent flyer, and freak when there's a little bit of turbulence! There's just too many aircraft problems lately! Not a fan!!

  • Mad Dog - 2011-07-15 21:29

    Habits die hard! Fly SAA!

  • Ken J May - 2011-07-15 21:37

    Check the pilots credentials, I'm sure he's a undercover Australian referee! - 2011-07-15 21:47

      Lol!! Just pleased all's well! :-)

  • s.t.sishi - 2011-07-15 21:38

    thank goodness they arrived safely.

  • Phaedioux - 2011-07-15 21:43

    Probably be the highlight of their tour? Something to tell their grandchildren about. Qantas is certainly losing a lot of engines these past few months - maybe they don't know?

  • Ross - 2011-07-15 21:48

    Qantas certainly have had a lot of engine issues recently. Something that should be looked into.

  • Ross - 2011-07-15 21:50

    What's with 'Quantas' ? O_o

  • ned.moodley - 2011-07-15 21:53

    serves the springboks right,why dont you'll fly the national carrier(SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS)

      Ross - 2011-07-15 22:02

      code shares.

      Liberty - 2011-07-16 03:13

      Too many fat cats milking the taxpayer to keep the loss making SAA in the sky. For local flights the SAA is a ripoff. I don't fly SAA out of principle

      Grayman - 2011-07-16 08:43

      @Liberty: Ditto!

      johncarlos.biza - 2011-07-16 11:39

      @Liberty SAA is running at a profit currently, and I pay the same as I do for British Airways for my regular Cape-Nelspruit trips

  • Mad Dog - 2011-07-15 21:56

    Well done to the pilot! Quantas is getting good at flying minus an engine or two!

      WIZZ - 2011-07-15 22:31

      Aussies rules ! If you can't join them (in Oz) you can't beat them!

      zaatheist - 2011-07-16 05:34

      I see the usual "thank god"'s by the gullible. Of course it was the pilot's skill.

  • Roland - 2011-07-15 22:18

    Why do we fly on the oppistion's airline...??? Qantas is the only major airline to never lose a plane (SAA only one)...but still....

      Cliff - 2011-07-15 22:35

      Nasty comment bro - The Helderberg had friends of mine and other South Africans aboard and that was not a normal pilot error or mechanical failure accident!!!

      tootingdel - 2011-07-15 23:00

      It is an SAA codeshare and goes direct to sydney where i guess they wanted to go rather than Perth - which is SAA direct - and where they probably didn't want to go!

      peter the gr - 2011-07-16 05:33

      FLY EMIRATES!!!!

      Sharky - 2011-07-16 08:16

      SAA have lost one off Mauritius, one at Windhoek and a Viscount flew directly out to sea (possibly from East London) and dissappeared in my lifetime (65 years)

  • Cliff - 2011-07-15 22:28

    Quantas again?????

  • Schalk - 2011-07-15 22:32

    I know the Aussies are pissed because we sent a "B" team but this is really going to far! Anyway this is not the first time an Aussie dropped the ball...

      Justin.D.Glenn - 2011-07-15 22:40

      LMAO 10 out of 10

  • HAYDN RUSSELL - 2011-07-15 22:37

    Hectic! Glad every1 on board is safe!

  • Phillipus - 2011-07-15 22:43

    Good excuse if they loose in Aus.

  • Hedda-Louise - 2011-07-15 22:51

    Imagine it would have been SAA....wonder what the comments here would have looked like...:)

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-16 13:33

      Well, it was not. This is more scary than Suzie - you do remember Suzie? Hedda-Louise, you could not have been Suzie, I'm sure of that.

  • di - 2011-07-15 23:04

    And the reason our National Team is not flying our National Airline would be .... ?

  • Grazy - 2011-07-15 23:16

    Does these guys know what an explosion is???

      Captainmorgan - 2011-07-16 05:32

      I am sure these guys 'does'

      Creeky - 2011-07-16 06:19

      I know I DOES.... ROFLMAO!!!!

      BlouBal - 2011-07-16 08:34

      Does you know?

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-16 00:24

    Is this Quantas' contribution to the Ausie onslaught? This is surely much more major than us fielding a so-called '2nd string' team, and it should be investigated. On the other hand, it just shows you how scared they are to play our second string team.

  • werner.smidt - 2011-07-16 01:36

    I love the picture's caption . . . "Johnny, this is an aeroplane." "BALL!" "No, no. An AE-RO-PLANE." "BALL!" "No .. listen carefully. An AE.... ag .. leave it, 'GG' for woodwork in your future."

      Creeky - 2011-07-16 06:21

      ? ? ? ? Seems like the voices in YOUR head are getting the better of you..... Bit of "OVER SHARE"!!!!

      BlouBal - 2011-07-16 08:38


      werner.smidt - 2011-07-16 17:47

      Hehe .. thanks for your input, Johnny

  • coolio_101 - 2011-07-16 04:50

    Are they on flight 815 to Sydney???? Coz Petrer divvy and his bok team r totally LOST........

      Schalk - 2011-07-16 13:33

      Ouch... your reaching

  • Rhino - 2011-07-16 05:28

    Come on guys, apart from Quantas's recent reliability problems, a 3 engine approach and landing is a non-event in a Boeing 747-400. More media/twitter hype....emergency landing my a$$! Precautionary landing would be the better description...

  • Deon - 2011-07-16 06:24

    Any airplane can fly with just 1 engine. And they only need 2 to take off.. even the big 747's and A380's can take off with only 2 of the 4 engines firing at all cylinders. Reason for the turn back was that 3 engines did not have sufficient gas to get to Oz.

  • Deeteem - 2011-07-16 06:44

    Just a question : If the engine "blew" just after take off, how did the plane get two hours out before turning around ?

  • dave.cohen2 - 2011-07-16 07:06

    Thank God everyone is safe. This will bring the team even closer together. Go BOKKE!!!

  • lassie95 - 2011-07-16 09:41

    Ned.Moodley Maybe the bribe they had to pay to be allowed on board SAA was excessive!!

  • nathanjaysa - 2011-07-16 13:18

    Why.. do people always make something small SOoo Big.. Pre-flight inspections is Mandatory !! if its inside on the instruments or outside , these guys do a good job, but Shit does happen, nothing is flawless or perfect, I believe that this could have turned out a big disaster if both engines might have blown or shutdown,Lets just thank God for getting our "bokke" and the other passengers safe and sound on the ground.

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