Frantic passengers aboard a Virgin Atlantic VS66 flight from Jamaica’s Montego Bay to London’s Gatwick Airport were left no choice but to trust their life with the pilot, forced to make an emergency landing after a bird struck and stuck into it’s engine.
In reassuring message (attached audio and video clip), the pilot announced to terrified passengers his resort to defuelling the plane mid-air to enable emergency landing back to Jamaica and not Orlando International Airport where visa restrictions was cited as grounds of refusal to land.
The plane’s flight map at time of bird-attack incident.
The pilot de-fuelled the plane for about 45 minutes to lighten its weight to enable landing back at smaller capacity Sangster International Airport @ Montego Bay Jamaica than Orlando International Airport would have managed. It was rough landing back (attached clip) at Montego Bay with terrified passengers, later relieved for the ordeal to not have ended in disaster.
A Ugandan passenger aboard the plane shared audio of her experience and video of other passenger aghast at America’s rejection for plane to land at Orlando which had the space and technical capacity to resolve the technical problem.
Thankfully plane and all aboard landed intact and passengers spent night in Montego and have today arrived safely in the UK.
The Ugandan aboard the plane shared her photos at Montego Bay’s gates as she prepared for journey back to London, before disaster struck about an hour midair, into the 9 hour journey.
On March 23rd 1909, America’s 26th President Theodore Roosevelt (commonly abbreviated as TR) and his then 19 year old son Kermit Roosevelt (KR) departed from New York for Kenya for a year long Africa safari trip.
The trip not that long after the end of his Presidency (reign from 14th September 1901-4th March 1909), Theodore and son sailed off for their African big wild game hunt that covered Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Khartoum in Sudan.
In the book Black Poachers and White Hunters,Theodore and son Kermit are noted to have killed 512 animals. The total number of wild animals though killed for the entire duration of the trip was 44,900 species. Theodore had left America with an entourage of male American Scientists all sponsored for trip by the America’s Smithsonian Institute.
In his book, “African Game Trails: An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter, Theodore stated the purpose of his trip as being to collect big game species and others, for the National Museum in Washington.
“On March 23rd 1909, I sailed thither from New York in charge of a scientific expedition sent out by the Smithsonian Institute to collect birds, mammals, reptiles and plants but especially specimens of big game for the National Museum at Washington.
By time of departing Africa, they left with the largest collection of dead mammals that has ever been brought out of Africa by a single party.
Added to the 512 dead mammals Theodore and son shot, the scientific personnel shot 5,103 mammals, 4453 birds, 2,322 reptiles and a large number of amphibians (information contained in Paul Russell Cutright’s Book The Making of a Conservationist).
In his book, Theodore hailed in America and the West as the “great hunter and natural conservationist”, tallied their (father and son) list of massacred animals and which can be found at link ↓ to his book
His book also contains many photographs of him and son posing by the animals they killed…. as seen below.
After 8 months in Kenya, Theodore and entourage proceeded by steamer to Uganda. They landed in Entebbe which was then the seat of the English Governor of Uganda. And so continued with the massacre of wildanimals as they did in Sudan and Congo.
Some Western apologists have attempted to write off this heinous crime sticking to labelling Theodore as a “brave hunter” “naturalist” and a former President that “promoted Scientific interest in African wildlife”.
History might be re-written but the interpretation cannot be dictated. The next time you are thinking of Africa’s declined wild animal population, think of the contribution by such heinous acts as Theodore’s and the West’s Scientific community whose contribution the West’s media stuck to scapegoating Africans as poachers…never exposes.
Additional reading of Roosevelt’s Africa Safari Trip as reported about by Uganda’s Daily-The Monitor.