Proflight Zambia says it cannot yet say for certain that its aircraft was hit by lightning on Monday.
In a statement, Tuesday, Proflight explained that the aircraft which had 41 passengers and five crew members on board was damaged in a hailstorm.
“Proflight Zambia confirms on November 25, 2019, while descending through cloud, its Bombardier Dash 8 Turbo prop aircraft encountered severe hail as it came into land at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
The aircraft, with 41 passengers and five crew members on board, landed safely and no one was injured during the incident. The damage caused by the hailstorm was significant and there was potentially a lightning strike in addition but this is pending closer inspection and not yet confirmed. Flight P00705 departed Livingstone Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport at 14:26 and arrived in Lusaka at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 15:26,” read the statement.
“As a result of the incident, the aircraft will be out of service until the aircraft undergoes thorough maintenance and is certified to fly again. In the meantime, Proflight is working closely with its operations and safety departments to minimise disruption to schedules.”
Meanwhile, Proflight Director Flight Operations, Captain Josias Walubita said safety was the airline’s primary concern.
“Weather incidents are not uncommon in the aviation sector at this time of year, and Proflight has robust systems and procedures to ensure safety. We commend Capt. Walter Nhlizi and his crew for their professionalism in dealing with the incident in the manner in which they are trained to do, and thank the passengers who were on board for their support,” said Captain Walubita.