CREAKY Air Zimbabwe’s flight from Bulawayo to Harare late Friday was involved in a scare after reportedly hitting a flock of birds.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Vangeli Haritatos revealed this in a post on his Facebook page in which he said most of the passengers travelling from the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair had been “shaken”.
“Well done Captain Chiwara and crew of Air Zimbabwe. We have just returned from an amazing, eye opening, and successful trip to the ZITF in Bulawayo.
“As our plane took off from Bulawayo tonight, we experienced bird strikes to the left engine which caused a bit of a fireworks show,” said Haritatos.
We were all visibly shaken as blowing sounds and sparks came from the affected engine on impact, but the pilot Captain Chiwara and his crew were true professionals.”
According to Haritatos, the crew after an assessment of the situation decided it was safe to continue with the journey.
“He waited a few minutes and then announced to us that we had just hit several birds known as a bird strike, which is something that does indeed happen, but that he had assessed the situation and that the plane was safe and that we would continue our journey back to Harare.
“He (Captain Chiwara) reassured all passengers again that we were in safe hands. On successful landing the entire plane broke into applause for the Captain and his crew,” the Deputy Minister said.
“I could not resist but to tell the air hostess, as we walked off the plane, that I was grateful to Captain Chiwara and his Air Zimbabwe crew, and that I owed him a farm! The Zimbabwe Land Commission better hurry up with the land audit so that I can fulfill my promise!!!”
The national flag carrier has been run into the ground by poor management and interference from central government.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has abandoned it altogether and now uses a hired luxury jet that he claims was donated by his friends from the United Arab Emirates.
Former President Robert Mugabe took to regularly commandeering Air Zimbabwe to suit his numerous trips in the process inconveniencing passengers whose flights had to be cancelled.
However, Mugabe was said to have been the only person who kept Air Zimbabwe flying because he paid upfront.