A South Africa Air Force (SAAF) C-130BZ Hercules preparing to take-off from AFB Waterkloof for a test flight on Tuesday morning reportedly suffered a nose wheel collapse.
State-owned Denel is preparing the upgraded C-130BZ Hercules ‘405’ for it to join back the service and conducted a test flight on the morning of April 21. Whilst Hercules 405 was starting-up for a further test flight and upon starting engine 2, the nose wheel retracted, resulting in the nose of the aircraft settling onto the ground, local media reported on Tuesday.
“An investigation to determine the cause of the incident is currently underway,” said Brigadier General Hilton Smith.
Operated by 28 Squadron, the SAAF currently has one C-130 Hercules, serial 401, in service in support of Operation NOTLELA, the SANDF mission in support to Government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In January 2020, the left engine of a SAAF C-130BZ plane bearing serial number ‘403’ tasked with transporting 59 passengers and eight crew members from the UN mission caught fire upon landing at Goma airport, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).