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Botswana: Presidential chopper’s near miss probed by army

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) on Monday said it was investigating an incident in which a helicopter carrying President Mokgweetsi Masisi was forced to make a precautionary landing while taxiing at Francistown airport in the north of the country on Saturday.In a statement, the army says while taxiing for landing at Francistown Airport the pilots reported an engine fire indication, prompting them to execute an engine shut down and landing on runway 13 at the airport.

The emergency response at Francistown Airport also responded to provide assistance with fire retardant foam, the army adds. 

“All five (5) passengers and the three (3) aircrew members are safe and without injuries. The BDF wishes to assure the nation that all required maintenance and safety procedures are taken to assure the safe passage of His Excellency the President as well as any other principles in their care,” the army points out. 

The same care is taken for the safe operation of all BDF flights regardless of who is on-board.

“With regard this incident the Commander BDF has ordered an investigation through a Board of Enquiry to determine the cause of the engine fire the actions of the aircrews and all other circumstances surrounding this incident,” the army indicates. 

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