A South African general aviation pilot has posted a full video of the final landing of one of two remaining South African Airways (SAA) Boeing 747SPs at Rand Germiston airport outside Johannesburg on his website (below).
Rudi Greyling starts the film piloting his own Aerotrike Scout, one of three microlights allowed to land at Rand immediately before the 747SP touched down.
The videoclip shows the 747SP in SAA colours performing two easterly precautionary approaches on the short, narrow strip before making its final approach and landing on 30 September. The aircraft (ZS-SPC, christened "Maluti") flew from Johannesburg's OR Tambo international airport where it has sat awaiting permission to fly for three years to Rand, where the country's aviation museum is housed.
The aircraft, piloted by Capt Dennis Spence, landed on runway 11 at the airport. The runway is only 1,463m (4,830ft) long and 15m wide. The 747SP's track bogie centres is 11m. The airport is at around 5,000ft altitude, for which Boeing manuals recommend a minimum field length of 1,800m. However, the aircraft was light on fuel. The aircraft can not leave Rand airport, however, as minimum take-off distances range from 2,940m on normal days to 3,570m during the hot African days of summer.
Wind conditions were 350 at 8kt (15km/h) on the day, favouring cross runway 17, but which has electricity pylons on its approach path.
The elder sister of ZS-SPC, ZS-SAN Lebombo, is already retired at Rand. SAA donated this 747SP to the SAA museum society.