Botswanans had a bit of a scare on Saturday when the helicopter carrying President Mokgweetsi Masisi had engine trouble.
A Botswana Defence Force presidential helicopter was forced to make an immediate landing as it arrived around 5:30 p.m. at Francistown Airport, upon arrival from Mathangwane. Francistown is Botswana’s second-largest city.
“The pilots reported an engine fire indication, whereupon they promptly executed an engine shut down and landing on runway 13 at the airport,” the government said in a statement.
All five passengers and three crew members were safe and without injuries. Emergency crews from the airport assisted in the emergency with fire-retardant foam.
The military said it wanted to assure Botswanans that all maintenance and safety procedures are followed when it comes to the responsibility of transporting Masisi and others flying with them.
“The same care is taken for the safe operation of all BDF flights regardless of who is on board,” they added.
The military commander has ordered an investigation into what caused the engine fire, and an assessment of the incident and the crew response.
Image: Masisi file