Pilot survives two forced landings in a week

26 October 2017  Read: 687


The same pilot who walked away from a forced landing last week in Tarentaalrand, has survived another one along the Giyani Road this morning.

Though it was the same pilot, Craig Hamman, he was not flying for the same company. Pilots work on commission and therefore contract themselves to various companies. The plane Hamman landed this morning, belongs to a company by the name of Neon Bell.

Last week, Hamman was flying for the crop protection specialists, Sandriver Crop Protection, when the Air Tractor AT-402 he was piloting experienced a mechanical failure. Because of his 20 years of flight experience and a vast number of flight hours, Hamman was able to perform an emergency landing. He walked away from the scene unscathed.

In what would appear to be extremely bad luck, Hamman was forced to perform the same manoeuvre this morning when the Grumman AG Cat biplane he was flying, also experienced engine trouble forcing him to land near Christi Landman's pack house on the Giyani Road.

Leon de Lange of Sandriver Crop Protection confirmed that the plane was in no way affiliated to Sandriver Crop Protection and that Craig Hamman was sub-contracted to Neon Bell. "If it were any other pilot, this would have been a very sad story to tell. Craig is one of the best n the business and has two decades worth of experience. That, is what saved his life."

We spoke to Hamman shortly after the incident this morning. "Physically I am fine, mentally I'm a little drained. We have the Civil Aviation Authority coming to conduct their investigations and then we will know exactly what happened."

Just to be clear. Neither of these incidents were plane crashes. They were controlled, forced landings handled expertly by an expert pilot.



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