Pilot shares his experience of landing in Wuhan to rescue over 100 SA citizens

Pilot shares his experience of landing in Wuhan to rescue over 100 SA citizens

A team led by the South African Military flew to Wuhan, China to rescue their compatriots. We chatted to one of the pilots about the experience.

SAA flight in Polokwane
Moleli Molefe Limpopo Office of the Premier

Listen to the audio here: 

We had the opportunity to speak to one of the heroes, Senior First Officer Mundzhedzi (Mac) Machaba, who brought home the South Africans from Wuhan.

President Cyril Ramaphosa assigned the South African Military on a special mission to bring back those who were left stranded in China.

The flight departed from OR Thambo International Airport on Tuesday, 10 March.

Also read: Coronavirus: SA intensifies COVID-19 response

Mac briefly touched on the opportunity to serve his country, what he has been doing in quarantine, and what it has been like. He also mentioned how they prepped and planned prior to the mission, and explained how the plane was divided to cater for all aboard. 

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The flight had four pilots, 14 cabin crew, and 15 military officials consisting of; a mission commander, department of health official, two doctors, psychologist, social worker, two nurses, four paramedics, and three environmentalists. 

Also read: Coronavirus: More isolation wards set up in KZN hospitals

The flight landed at Polokwane Airport on 14 March. The passengers were taken to a ranch outside of Polokwane where they will be quarantined for 21 days.

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