Port Elizabeth - A pilot who was responsible for an incident at the airport in Mthatha in which an airforce plane was practically written off had more than once failed her flight training.
Instructors had apparently said Captain M S Mandaka was not pilot material and should “never again be considered as a pilot”, reported Beeld.
But three weeks ago Mandaka was trying to land the plane and probably because of following incorrect procedures, caused the C-47TP Dakota with 16 soldiers on board to hop twice on landing and fall into a deep ditch next to the runway.
The plane was seriously damaged and would probably be written off.
The incident also caused delays at the airport and other commercial flights to Mthatha had to be cancelled.
The airforce said it was investigating the matter.
Instructors apparently said they felt she would never pass her training and Mandaka had flown 400 flight hours to qualify as pilot although 180 hours were usually required.
Colleagues said she was a top navigator and apparently believed this made up for her dubious piloting skills.