Please keep my identity hidden since I am not allowed to talk to press and I can lose my job over this.There was quite a major incident that was all but ignored by the mainstream media other than silly mentions.
This incident could have destroyed our Mara tourism circuit for ages but the powers that be paid to kill the story.
On paper, a Safarilink flight to Kichwa Tembo was hit by wildebeests’s while landing.
I am work for a lodge in Mara and at the said day, we were waiting for our guests who were arriving by Eastafrican and Safarilink flights.
There were animals around… Hallo? It’s Masai Mara, there should always be animals roaming lest it becomes JKIA. The Eastafrican pilot on sensing this “buzzed” the runway i.e. he flew low an scared off he animals away before proceeding to land.
A few minutes later, the Safarilink flight appeared, we all assumed he was going to buzz the runway as it is customary. You should have heard the audible gasps from the just landed Eastafrican passengers as the captain decided to land
People started screaming and waving him off but he still proceeded to land. The herd that was smacked in the middle of the runway was startled. As it happens to wild animals, they froze. So did the Safarilink captain. Instead of aborting the landing he proceeded to plow into the frozen animals
Miraculously, half the hard moved at the last possible moment so he only hit the animals on the left ripping off his left landing gear and part of his engine.
This threw his plane off balance and it careened off the runway, plowing into the grassland and stopping it.
This “cowboys” actions cost us a ton of money. The guest were scared to fly with Safarilink again (for good measure) and we had to cater the costs for new tickets.
It’s not the first time they have had an incident at the said airstrip. The same captain overrun the runway a few week before this.
After being acquired by Ramco group, Safarilink guys are under pressure to deliver hence the cowboy antics. I am afraid if the regulators don’t take action soon, we are going to have a major issue soon which might end up killing our Mara circuit.
We are already losing all the big money clients to Serengeti. All the major celebrities visiting Mara are opting to do so from the Tanzania side.
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