By Staff www.khaleejtimes.com
An aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in the sands near Skydive Dubai’s Desert Campus on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.
According to a statement on Skydive Dubai Desert Campus’ Facebook page, the incident occurred at approximately 8am on July 7 when the aircraft – a Cessna Caravan carrying 15 passengers and a pilot – experienced a technical problem shortly after take-off.
“The experienced pilot however managed to land the plane safely, with all 15 passengers walking away unharmed,” the statement says. “An official investigation is being carried out by the local authorities to source the cause of the incident and a detailed report will be shared upon the completion of the investigation.”
Images uploaded to social media show the aircraft burning in a desert area near the drop zone, as well as skydivers walking through the sand dunes away from the plane. A third image shows the burned wreckage, with only the wings and tail portion of the plane left intact.
According to DiverDriver.com, a website for skydiving pilots, Cessna Caravan variants are “by far” the most common turbine jump airplanes in the world.
Accidents involving skydiving aircraft are extremely rare. The US National Transportation Safety Board, for example, has recorded only four accidents involving Cessna Caravans used for skydiving since 2008, all non-fatal.
Cessna Caravans are also used for reconnaissance missions by a number of military operators around the world, as well as by civilian operators for short-haul flights, often operating from short or rough airstrips in the developing world. More info