SAA Flight to Hong Kong drops out the sky

SAA Flight to Hong Kong drops out the sky

Cape Town – A Zambian national, Miyanda Siamoongwa, flying to Hong Kong on SAA flight SA 286 was terrified when the flight suddenly hit massive turbulence half-way through the 14 hour long haul flight from Johannesburg.

Despite SA 286 being a large Airbus A340-300, the aircraft was tossed around like a toy in the sky and dropped like a stone for several hundred feet before finally gaining stability once again.

During the aircraft’s plummet, Siamoongwa watched “an infant literally fly out of the bassinet and being caught by her mother” as it was about to hit the floor.

The drop out the sky caused massive damage to the overhead compartments with people’s luggage strewn all over the aircraft.

SAA Flight to Hong Kong drops out the sky

According to reports, one passenger who did not have his safety belt on was severely injured when his head hit the cabin roof causing damage to himself and the cabin roof itself.

The sudden turbulence left a scene of devastation and destruction with luggage everywhere, toilets destroyed and a lot of passengers with serious neck and spinal injuries.

Miyanda said “The cabin crew were looking pretty shaken and I overheard a supervisor tell an injured guy in front of me that, in all her years of flying, she’s not encountered turbulence on this scale”

The Captain of the SAA flight apologised to everyone on-board but did point out it was not possible to predict the severe turbulence they had just encountered.

SA 286 was declared an emergency and given priority landing in Honk Kong due to the extensive damage to the aircraft and numerous injuries to it’s passengers.

As soon as the aircraft landed, fire crews and ambulances rushed over to meet the stricken plane. A number of make shift beds where setup in close proximity to deal with the injured passengers.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, reported 20 passengers were injured (17 passengers and 3 crew members); two of which were serious and were taken to the Prince Margaret Hospital and the North Lantau Hospital in Hong Kong” They have since been discharged.

The SA 286 flight experienced a severe case of Clear-Air Turbulence (CAT) On board weather Doppler radar systems are able to identify weather patterns and alert operators to the severity of clouds.

Doppler Radar System

Doppler Radar System

CAT is usually impossible to detect and even more difficult for aircraft pilots to avoid.

Research indicates that CATs could be caused by global warming as high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide increases susceptibility at jet stream altitude level.

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere

L’Oreal, who only recently signed a contract with 17-year-old World Cup fan Axelle Despiegelaere, has now terminated the contract. Photos of the attractive teen cheering Belgium in the World Cup 2014 went viral.

However, Axelle’s undoing was recently posting a proud photo of herself to Facebook in which she is holding a rifle, proudly sitting behind what appears to be a dead oryx she shot while hunting.


The caption, in reference to the World Cup match, read: “Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that..this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt Americans today haha.”

Axelle subsequently apologized in the comments section of her post after getting heated responses from fans, saying “i didn’t mean to offend was a joke.”

However, it was too late for L’Oreal who failed to see the funny side who informed The Independant that Axelle’s contract has been “completed.”

“L’Oréal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium,” said a representative. “The contract has now been completed.”

The announcement came soon after fans took to social media to express their outrage that L’Oreal would be affiliated with Axelle after her controversial post.

I am not sure if the controversy relates to the shooting of a beautiful, innocent animal or her comment regarding hunting Americans. Personally, I and many of my African colleagues will be more offended and disgusted by the killing of the animal.

Interestingly, while L’Oreal is aware of the photograph, it would not comment on whether it was the specific reason behind the decision to cut the model’s contract.

That said, the representative did point out that L’Oréal “no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others.”

Indeed, in 2012 alone, the beauty giant donated $1.2 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help improve the testing of safe chemicals. Perhaps this implies it was the shooting that offended them the most?

Upon arriving home to Belgium after becoming the World Cup Model, Axelle posted to Facebook that she had “Made my decision..signed my contract with L’Oreal!”

It would appear L’Oreal also made their decision and unsigned their copy.

walking with Lions

walking with Lions

Some friends of the family recently had a little trip to Antelope Park to walk with Lion cubs. Certainly makes me miss Africa and the bush.

Walking with the lion cubs

With a lion cub

Antelope Park Sean with lion cub

Antelope Park 1