Can pigs fly? In Zimbabwe, it seems they try to

warthog (Custom).jpgWhen 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.

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4 Responses to Can pigs fly? In Zimbabwe, it seems they try to

  1. Kinbin 6 November, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    Due to the ensuing homo-sapien induced famine in that portion of the world, widespread hunger prevails in the animal kingdom. The warthog omnivore was part of a pack attempting to take on a herd of motorized “elephants”, hoping to corrall one to the direction of the herd for the kill.

    While beast did rumble in the direction of the warthog pack, the pack sustained major casualties in the midst of bringing the beast down. Meanwhile, the injured beast requires medical attention that does not seem forthcoming, and may die from its injuries.

    Just a page off the National Geographic Channel.
    :-)

  2. Joshua 28 November, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    I worked at Harare Airport over a period of 23 years
    and during that time the only game that penetrated
    the perimeter fence were small duikers who stayed well away from the runways due to the noise of the aircraft engines. I left Zimbabwe many years ago to move to South Africa but still have many friends there
    who tell me that due to the county`s President the locals are starving. It would seem that the poor
    animal took refuge in the only place that would keep him safe ! I would suggest that the pilot deliberately ran him down to provide a square meal for
    the crew. The Chinese aircraft were sold to Zimababwe
    as part of an agreement with China to provide arms
    and ammunition, bulletproof vests and hand grenades.
    In fact a Zimbabwean cargo plane crashed at Shanghai
    Airport tis morning.What would that be carrying ?
    China has moved into Zimbabwe in a big way in return
    for mining rights, farms stolen from legitimate owners, Government tenders etc.The many Chinese have settled in Zimbabwe mainly run little shops selling cheap plastic items,tin cans,toys and nothing useful.
    The locals hold them in contempt but Mugabe hangs on
    to their tails as China is the only country who will lend that evil swine money.
    God save Zimbabwe !

  3. tim 29 November, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    I suspect that any Chinese aircraft deals with Zimbabwe are corrupt anyhow. I can’t think of anyone there who would want to buy Chinese stuff unless they were told to.

  4. Jupiter Punungwe 24 December, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    Most of the comments above a shear nonsense. My father worked for Air Rhodesia/Air Zimbabwe for 28 years the last 19 of those at Harare Airport.

    The problem of warthogs burrowing under the fence is not new at all. The airport is located in a peri-urban area between Chitungwiza and Hatfield. Wild animals are not found in significant numbers in such areas because of human presence but Harare airport has a fairly large woodland surrounding it which is not accessible to people for security reasons. Manyame airbase is located on the same premises. Animals being less harassed and staying in this woodland has nothing to do with recent political developments.

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