General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Ghana’s presidential aircraft, the Falcon 900 caught fire on Tuesday when it attempted a second take-off at the Kotoka International Airport after a failed first attempt.
This was confirmed by the Ghana Armed Forces in a statement signed by Lt. Commander Andy La-Anyane, a Deputy Director in charge of information and communication for the Ghana Armed Forces.
Neither the President nor any government official was on board and no casualties have been recorded.The crew on board was on a mission for the presidency.
According to the statement, the fire was as a “result of friction between the wheels and the runway surface… adding that “it was observed however that the left wheels were on fire.”
“The Presidential aircraft, Falcon 900, was tasked to perform a special mission to Malabo-Equatorial Guinea on Monday March 3. On departure from the Kotoka International Airport, the crew experienced slight operational problems with the computer system.
As a result, the aircraft returned to the Air Force Base in Accra to reset the computers” the statement added.
It went on further to state that “during the second run for take-off, the aircraft lost two main left wheels.
In spite of the severe veering of the aircraft to the left, they managed to slow and successfully turned off the runway without veering into the shoulders of the runway. The aircraft stopped successfully.”
“It was observed however that the left wheels were on fire. Emergency procedures were followed with the disembarkation of the passengers and the fighting of the fire.
Fire extinguishers on board were used to bring the situation under control. Fire tenders from the Air Force Base and that of the main airport also arrived immediately to assist in putting off the fire completely.
“Preliminary investigations indicate the fire was caused as a result of friction between the wheels and the runway surface. Special Occurrence Report has been sent to the Air Force Headquarters and a special investigation team is being composed.”
This is not the first time the President’s jet has developed a fault.In 2014, the aircraft developed a technical fault when the President was preparing to attend the national farmers day event in the Western Region.