When you sell to airlines in under-developed countries, you sometimes come across some pretty unusual situations. Air Zimbabwe, the overseas launch customer for the Xian Aircraft MA60, has damaged one of its Chinese-built aircraft after it hit a warthog.
That’s right. A warthog. And pigs can’t fly.
The aircraft, UM-239, hit the animal at night (4 November) as it was trying to take off from Harare airport.
None of the 34 passengers on board were injured but the aircraft reportedly sustained substantial damage and is still grounded. The reports fail to mention the damage to the aircraft.
Last time I checked my atlas, Zimbabwe was a country and Harare was the capital. It is shocking that stray animals are able to wander onto the runway of a capital city airport. It also highlights the problems Chinese aircraft-makers face in selling to operators in such poor and under-developed markets.