A Starbow airline British Aerospace 143-200 aircraft from Accra to oil-rich Ghanaian city of Takoradi made an emergency landing on Tuesday, shortly after takeoff due to hydraulic failure.
The 28-year old aircraft operated by Starbow Airlines was forced to return to Accra just 20 minutes after takeoff as the pilots found out the wing flaps were not functioning.
Narrating the incident to SaharaReporters, a passenger on the flight said the pilot announced that the aircraft had developed a "fault" soon after takeoff and informed them that they had to return to the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
"It took us about 15 minutes to get back to Accra. We were all scared to death but were assured by the pilot that they had the situation under control”, she said.
"We were told to be calm and that there was fire service, and other emergency personnel waiting on the ground to help us evacuate,” she added. Two of the passengers that sustained injuries from the evacuation process were whisked into an ambulance and taken to the 37 Military Hospital, a short distance from the airport.
Confirming the incident to the press later, Chief Executive Officer of Starbow, James E. Antwi attributed the accident to a "hydraulic failure". He said the fault could not have been detected before take-off.
"We do normal check-ups before we take off, but things happen," he told newsmen. Mr. Antwi added that the company has made arrangements to refund ticket fares to passengers who wish to travel by road, but plans are afoot to fly the rest of them on Wednesday.
Today's emergency landing was the second time in 3 months that a Starbow aircraft has been involved in similar incidents. On August 11th 2014, another British Aerospace 146-300 aircaft operated by the airline had an engine failure shortly after taking off from Accra on its way to Kumasi. Passengers on board said they heard a loud bang as the aircraft climbed above 3,000 ft. The pilots returned to land after shutting down the affected engine.