Saturday 6th March cont.
Six hours into our flight, it was announced that we were turning back and would be landing in Perth to unload our unwell passenger.
Our excess fuel had to be dumped before we could land.
We were told on arrival in Perth that special permission had to be obtained for us to land.
747’s have not been landing in Perth because of work being carried out on the runway.
The next hurdle Qantas had to negotiate, was the possibility that we would not get permission to take off.
Add to this the hours that the pilots had already worked and the 9+ hours flying time from Perth to Joburg, and the fact that there were no pilots available to take over from the ones in charge.
Soon after touchdown the plane was deemed safe by customs and immigration and the ambulance service boarded and prepared to move the patient.
As soon as he was offloaded the plane had to refuel to replace all that was lost before our forced landing.
One might ask, where are my pics of the fire engines etc in attendance for our emergency landing, but we were more concerned for the sick passenger and his wife.
Refuelling completed, we overheard one of the crew speaking with the Doctor……there was another person further back in the plane who needed attention.
Five minutes before take off we were wondering if we would be delayed further.
We departed Perth 4.30pm Sat.6th (7.30 Syd time) and arrived in JOBURG 8pm Sat 6th (5am Sun Syd time)
We cleared immigration quickly and collected our luggage.
Off now to pick up our Vodafone internet connection.
I took my netbook with me to ensure that the modem worked
The USB internet connectors supplied by Vodafone are outdated and extremely unreliable. We had a bad experience with them last year, but hoped that they would have improved in 6 months.
I spent the next hour watching a staff member trying to download the device onto my netbook.
Needless to say, she was not installing it properly and could not manoeuvre her way through the installation process.
She continually told me that it was my computer that was at fault (it is 4 months old)
Time and my patience was ticking away, and I cancelled my contract.
We now have and MTN modem and all is working well (another long story here)
We finally collected our rental car at 10.15pm, loaded the luggage and set of for our overnight stop at Witbank.
We arrived at 11.45…….four and three quarter hours later than planned.
Toasted sandwiches were ordered from room service and finally bed a little after 1am.