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Last updated: 23 March 2019
Date:Monday 10 January 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-2T5
Registration: ZS-SGX
C/n / msn: 22396/730
First flight: 1981-01-16 (30 years )
Total airframe hrs:70094
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15 (HK3)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Hoedspruit AFB (HDS) (   South Africa)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Hoedspruit Airport (HDS/FAHS), South Africa
Destination airport:Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB/FAOR), South Africa
A Boeing 737-2T5 passenger jet, registered ZS-SGX, sustained substantial damage in an accident at Hoedspruit AFB (HDS), South Africa. There were no fatalities. The airplane operated on a flight from Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) to Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB).
Whilst taxiing to the cleared holding point for takeoff from runway 18, the pilot switched off the landing lights to avoid blinding an approaching aircraft. As a result, he overshot the turning point at taxiway C in the darkness and found himself at the end of taxiway A with insufficient space to turn around. According to him, he decided to maneuvre the aircraft out of the "dead end" by turning into the last taxiway, which led to military hangars, and then reversing the aircraft to carry out a 180 turn. This was to be done without external guidance. Whilst reversing the aircraft, the pilot failed to stop it in time, the main wheels rolled off the edge of the taxiway and the aircraft slipped down a steep embankment, coming to rest with the nose-wheel still on the taxiway.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Inappropriate decision by the captain to reverse the aircraft at night without external guidance."

» Nick Elzinga
» Hoedspruit (FAHS) Aerodrome chart
» CAA South Africa


photo of Boeing 737-2T5 ZS-SGX
photo of Boeing 737-2T5 ZS-SGX
photo of Boeing 737-2T5 ZS-SGX
photo of Boeing 737-2T5 ZS-SGX
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Hoedspruit Airport to Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport as the crow flies is 343 km (214 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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