A light aircraft was on Monday evening forced to make an emergency landing at the Malindi International Aiport after losing one of its wheels mid-air.
The aircraft, Cessna 152, belonging to the Kenya School of Flying, was being operated by a trainee pilot during the 3.15 PM incident. He was the sole occupant of the plane.
Malindi airport manager Mohammed Karama confirmed the incident saying the trainee identified as Emmanuel Omindi had to fly for two hours to avoid explosion when landing.
Further reports indicate that Omindi was advised to keep the aircraft airborne to exhaust its fuel consequently avoid an explosion.
“The control tower noticed that its fore wheel was missing while mid-air and the pilot was advised to fly for two hours due to security reasons,” said Karama.
No casualties were reported during the incident.
“He crash-landed but he did not suffer injuries, although he was taken to the hospital together with his tutor who was directing him while mid-air for psychological counselling due to trauma,” he said.
To avert a calamity during landing, fire brigadiers and medical personnel, as well as security teams, were on standby at the airport.
The plane and a section of the runway were, however, damaged during the incident.
This is not the first incident to be reported in the area with locals pointing fingers at the Kenya School of Flying for failing to properly maintain its planes.
In November 2018, a trainee pilot survived a crash after a light aircraft failed to ascend high enough during take-off and crashed into an electric post in Furunzi in Malindi.