PRESS RELEASE ON KLM
THURSDAY - JUNE 20 - 2013
Uganda Parliament Deputy Speaker Hon Jacob Oulanya, Director for Labour in Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry Sarah Luyima, Editor in – Chief New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation Barbara Kaija, a Rwandan Senior Police Officer, were among passengers aboard a KLM flight KL 0539, from Amsterdam to Entebbe via Kigali that nearly crashed on Lake Victoria.
The incident occurred Thursday night at 10:11 when the pilot cruising at a ground speed of 533 kmph , made an abrupt descend on Entebbe Airport but underestimated the distance, miscalculated the timing, and nearly brought the aircraft crashing on the water. However on realizing the runaway was still a few meters away and there were no traffic control lights in sight, the pilot accelerated the Airbus Industrie ,A330-200 operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, at supersonic speed, back to the skies.
The plane hovered over Gaba and Luzira Lake Victoria shores and parts of Kampala city as it flew to Buddo – Nsangi triangle - bearing, from where it turned left to descend on Entebbe Airport. By all this time most passengers were speechless trying to recover from the shock.
The Pilot broke the silence five minutes later explained unconvincingly, moreover in - inaudible broken tones, that surging and undetected strong winds hindered the plane from smooth landing. Metrological and Aviation experts at Entebbe International Airport who preferred to remain anonymous, dismissed the pilot’s claims as untrue, baseless and unfounded, and blamed the mishap on human error. Even the passengers blamed the incident on the pilot, who accelerated from Kigali and tried to land early at 10:11pm instead of the scheduled 10:22pm.
But even if the plane had attempted to land on the tarmac runaway, it would have still crashed, because the ground speed of 533 kmph is far beyond landing speed.
Two passengers aboard the craft said this is the third time such an incident is happening on KLM Airlines flights, one in Kigali and the other at Entebbe airport.
Hon Jacob Oulanya, visibly irked by the incident was later led by his aid out of the aircraft to the VIP Lounge. All passengers who disembarked from the plane wore a scared but unsatisfactory faces.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines must come out and explain to its clients convincingly, what happened. This will help them restore confidence in their clientele and safeguard its image in the aviation industry.