By Salome Maree


In between contract work we had charters that we did for different companies. On this particular occasion ESCOM hired the King Air 200 to fly some of their employees up to Lephalale to inspect the Medupi power station, which was being build.

We flew them there early in the morning and they went about their business.

Later that afternoon when the passengers returned to the aircraft for their flight home, the King Air flatly refused to start. We tried everything in our power to get her to start but no ways. She flatly refused. The passengers disembarked and we had to find accommodation for them for the night while we waited for the maintenance team to arrive. The team worked till late that night to try and solve the problem.

The next morning, we uploaded our rather grumpy and already nervous passengers for the flight back to Grand Central. One of my jobs as co-pilot was to close the back door. I tried everything in my power to get the door to lock but no matter how hard I tried; I could not lock the door. The captain was really not impressed with me. I struggled and struggled and struggled. At that point the passengers decided that they have had enough and would rather drive to Grand Central instead of fly.

Unbeknownst to me a little stone got caught underneath the rubber flooring of the steps. Unless the King Air's steps are lying 100% flat you cannot close the door. Luckily the engineers were still waiting for us to depart. They started examining the door and eventually found the little culprit.

We flew back to Grand Central, just the two of us to pick up another load of ESCOM employees to go to Pietersburg for a meeting. Luckily this flight went off without a hitch.

Our next adventure will be the middle of Africa for some Jackfruit and thunderstorms.

Seaplane Base AirVenture 2009 to 2019

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