Monday, December 07, 2009

South African Airlink regional jet runway overrun on landing at George, South Africa

by B. N. Sullivan

SA Airlink ERJ-135An Embraer ERJ-135 aircraft operated by South African Airlink overran a runway at George (South Africa) this morning. The accident happened as the aircraft, operating as Flight SA8625, was arriving at George Airport after a scheduled flight from Capetown. No injuries were reported among the three crew members and 30 passengers on board, however a statement issued by the South African Civil Aviation (SACAA) said that "two crew members and three passengers have been sent to hospital for observation." The aircraft suffered substantial damage.

In a statement to the press, SA Airlink said that the aircraft (registration ZS SJX) "aquaplaned off the end of the wet runway. The incident occurred at 11h06 local time" on December 7, 2009. The company statement also said, "Weather at the time is reported as being overcast with rain. The aircraft appears to be damaged the extent of which is unknown at this stage."

News reports say that after leaving the runway, the aircraft crashed through the airport perimeter fence and came to rest on a nearby roadway. Several photos of the accident scene have been posted to the South Africa's Eyewitness News Web site.