Regional carrier South African Airlink has suffered another serious operational incident, its third in less than three months, this time involving an Embraer ERJ-135.

The aircraft aquaplaned while landing at George Airport, near the southern coast, while operating flight SA8625 from Cape Town.

Airlink says that all 30 passengers and the three crew members have escaped without injury. The carrier states that the aircraft "appears to be damaged".

Images from the scene show that the jet has travelled part-way down an embankment and come to rest on a road, with substantial damage to its nose section.

Airlink and the South African civil aviation authority identify the twin-jet as bearing registration ZS-SJW. Flight's ACAS database gives this as a nine-year old example last listed as being owned by Coronation Aircraft Leasing.

"Airport staff and trauma counsellors are with the passengers at present," says the airline.

Meteorological data for the time of the accident, which Airlink gives as 11:06, shows light rain and variable winds, primarily from the east.

George Airport has a single main runway, designated 11/29, with a length of approximately 2,000m (6,560ft).

The incident follows just weeks after a British Aerospace Jetstream, operated by Airlink, veered off the runway during take-off from Port Elizabeth on 18 November.

Airlink also suffered a fatal take-off accident on 24 September when another Jetstream lost engine power and crashed at Durban, killing the pilot.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news