SAA FLIGHT DELAYED FOR 5 HOURS AS . . . Pilot strips naked at Harare Airport

kuairportZvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
A South African Airways pilot was arrested yesterday after he caused a scene when he stripped to his undergarment at the Harare International Airport protesting security procedures by authorities.
South African Flight 025 with about 90 passengers aboard, was subsequently delayed by more than five hours to allow another crew from Johannesburg to fly the aircraft back to South Africa after Captain Ginkel was barred from flying in terms of aviation regulations.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr David Chawota confirmed the incident last night that left cabin crew, passengers and airport workers shocked.

The incident occurred in the morning as the cabin crew went through the screening routine at the country’s biggest international airport.

“The pilot abused himself. He simply undressed at the security checkpoint. He was arrested for public indecency. He paid a fine but in terms of aviation regulations we could not allow him to fly the aircraft anymore after that incident,” said Mr Chawota.

“The flight was supposed to leave Harare at 0720 hours but had to be delayed until 1300 hours to allow another crew from South Africa to come to Harare to fly the plane.”

Mr Chawota said in terms of aviation rules and regulations, further disciplinary measures should be taken back home by his superiors.

“We have since reported the incident to his employers, that is why they had to bring another crew. For the safety of passengers and plane we could not allow him to fly. This is international procedure that we followed,” he said.

Sources at the airport said the pilot was directed by authorities to remove his shoes after detectors had beeped.

The detectors continued beeping resulting in him being asked to remove his belt, something that did not go down well with the pilot.

The directive triggered a furious protest that saw him undressing to his undergarment.

Security officials subsequently moved in and arrested Capt Ginkel and subsequently detained him at the police post.

He was eventually fined.

“Aviation authorities raised concern on his state of mind and felt it was no longer prudent and safe to allow him to continue flying the aircraft given the fact that they were no longer sure of his sanity,” said a source.

“He had to return to Johannesburg as a passenger.’

Capt Ginkel’s background could not be established as a Google search on his name did not yield much information.

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  • mpengo

    “Capt Ginkel’s background could not be established as a **Google search on his name did not yield much information**.”

    Joke of the year

    • ngatimbomamira madhiri

      there is no joke here my friend bcoz even if asked officially the SAA authorities would never divulge such sensitive information even to the CIA boss easily let alone a journalist… and what the writer here was trying to do is what we call “investigative journalism”.. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. what then qualifies as “Joke of the year” is actually your failure to realise that Google is a powerful search engine that can be used to search even the most intimate details, and if done well can be of very much assistance… and surely that is the real joke of the year!!!!!!

      • Yambira Muyambiri

        You are probably the joke of the year yourself if you cannot appreciate the wise Mpengo’ humor directed at the journalist.

        • ngatimbomamira madhiri

          Yambira Muyambiri… From the comments you are passing it very clear that you don’t have even a single clue of what I am talking about…. You must probably be a herd boy of cattle from a certain farm and don’t even have a single understanding of what journalism is all about… Even for the betterment of your life you need to go and research more on the aviation subject, especially safety and security of passengers and cargo on-board. God and check the Chigaco Convention, Warsaw Convention, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 17, International Air Transport Association (IATA) safety pronouncements, Boeing or Airbus technical manuals on how to fly their machines etc… Also have time to check the changes in aviation after the 9/11 twin tower bombings, and also the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 twinjet… My friend aviation is not sadza nemufushwa that you eat at home, this is a very very sensitive subject and there are no room for mistakes… Didn’t you also read about EgyptAir Flight MS990 from US to Cairo, and what First Officer El Batout did????????? Its shame when people who have no idea of aviation just take their laptops/ipads/tablets and begin to type….

    • BaRuva

      google is open, let the security ppl make a contribution on google to the captains person. lol

    • Muramba Tsvina

      Zim journo cannot provide information if Google cannot? Zvinonyadzisa! Kutonyatsonyora.

      • Jotham

        You are sick in the head – kupenga kunenzira zhinji – awa ndiwo mapengero ako. Chasara pauri chipatara.

      • Yambira Muyambiri

        Considering that the writer went to Google to see if there is a pattern of behaviour with either this pilot or other pilots doesn’t seems ad bad ss your implication.

    • South Africa Travel Online

      Who says there aren’t any honest reporters left :)

    • Gudo

      lol…vaakushandisa google

    • Yambira Muyambiri

      I agree.

    • Hurungudo

      Where is the joke Mpengo? I think you are the joke!

    • CHANAZ

      Indeed this is a joke of the year A Pilot Striping NAKED kkkkk

  • Choks

    these people are creating problems with the South African authorities. Everytime i also leave home i am thouroughly searched zvimwe zvinotobhowa. We have those scanning machines but the security still want to peep into your hand luggage and do a physical body search of which that is what i think irritated the pilot. Now the security are changing their stance saying the scanning machine gave an alarm because the pilot did not take off his belt of which that is a lie. It is a must to remove the belt, watch, wallet and i know for a fact that the pilot could not have refused to take off his belt because of this security check. He knows about it and it can not be a problem for him because he is in Zimbabwe. I think the security has to be investigated on what actually transpired and the pilot had to pay a fine as an admission of gulty because he did see he was going to be detained longer than necessary.

    • Hurungudo

      Yes they must search thoroughly. Zvinobhowa yes but its worse if someone sneaks a weapon on board and threatens to down the plane. Choks for your information, there is this belief by airline staff that they must not be searched as thoroughly as passengers, for reasons best known to themselves. I have witnessed on several occassions flight crew protesting with security personnel over body searches. I will not give this pilot any benefit of doubt. He thought because he was the captain of the flight, he should be treated differently. After all why must these “natives” harass a white man. That is the attitude and it still exists in so many white people. But after the disappearances of Air Malaysia without trace and suspicion that one crew member had something to do with it, these guys must be searched, and searched thoroughly.

  • Mimi

    Most times these pilots tend to become a law unto themselves. What would a pilot loose if he removes his shoes as directed by police. If it were in South Africa nothing of the same would be tolerated. Good that the Zim authorities stood their ground and let the shameless pilot fly back to SA as a passenger.

    • Jorge

      It is a fact that your mind reasons a mimi. This pilot is not the first time to come into Zimbabwe operating. He knows how uncouth our security guards are hence he knows the procedures. The over zealousness of the louts triggered the condominium coupled by the CEO of Harare Airport. There was absolutely nothing wrong for both parties to go upfront at one another and it this time and moment it was the authorities who did not exercise anger management. Typical typical and no remorse yet at the end of the day we go on the pulpit shouting ‘more airlines should come in Zimbabwe.’ After all the service charges levied by these authorities do not commensurate with the treatment and handling of service providers. The toilets stinks with green bombers flying everywhere, the tannoy address system is in audible, lighting is worse off than bush lamps. So what service is airlines and passenger paying for besides paying for harassment. It’s all ludicrous.

  • Patriot

    There is nothing wrong with the Pilot.
    This is the only job that you guys have and you are busy frustrating people at the airport.
    ‘The Pilot abused himself’ Ah hindava muchinyeba imi?

    You treated him like a terrorist and he had to undress to prove his innocence

  • Dzvakutsvaku

    What a load of tosh by the Herald. Are the same Aviation authorities that said they couldnt trust his sanity behavioral scientists? The pilot was harassed, end of! We know how over excited zim security people can get. You will be surprised that Capt Ginkel will be flying everywhere else except Zimbabwe. Good luck on increasing tourist traffic to the country. Morons

  • used condom

    well then zvamaida murwira, senior reporter surely you could have phoned his employers or emailed them to get any infor that you need, to just google it is so sub standard one wonders who gave you that job

  • Garikai

    He is an airline Captain and responsible for the lives of many. But in
    true Zimbabwean fashion, was probably herded like a goat by arrogant and
    ingnorant junior authorities. In Harare frustration abounds with garden
    boys in suits!!!

    • Reality

      Rules are rules. If the metal detector rings the security officer must eliminate all possible causes. As a pilot he should understand. He should have walked onto his plane feeling better knowing that everyone on board went through tight security.

  • Terence

    Surely this could be a good signal to the poor standard of the security procedures. The pilot was right because the beeps were going to continue up to that stage of undressing. What if the beeps continued when he was in his undergarment? Food for thought.

    • xail

      But when things happen you still blame zim security for not finding the problem. im not saying it was all right.

  • tadyanemhandu

    perhaps he was also worried about why the detectors were making the noise and thus he had to remove his clothes and leave an undergarment for security to really see that he was not carrying anything times men can move around wearing the undergarment e.g. in weight lifting, swimming, wrestling. we are also not clear on how the undergarment looked like it can either be a short or tights one would not consider them as a being in nude especially if its a short others move around wearing such

    • Jotham

      You are defending a fool.

  • elderlyfox

    And I thought it was a lady pilot, otherwise I would not have bothered. Don’t the xray scanners strip you naked anyway?

  • Susan

    This is standard procedure world over. All these people bashing CAAZ only travel between Joburg and harare. I have been to Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Beijing, Heathrow, guys working at these airports are no jokers. Security is of paramount importance both to zimbabwe image and south african plane and all passengers inside including crew. At JFK in New york they take up to 5 minutes on each passenger regardless how high you think you are. Ask Mumbengegwi the last time he was there and thought he will evade searching because he was a minister in zimbabwe. Look at what happened to the malasian flight after crew members were waved through like VVIP

    • tadyanemhandu

      so you agree that by removing his clothes his proving his innocence

  • Jorge

    Both parties failed to manage their anger but the aggressor being the mahobhos were more responsible. They were too over zealous and one wonders as well how the CEO could be so dumb to comment on allegations. Does he have a Port Health department at the airport to certify one mental instability. Which regulation in the Aviation industry stops one from operating an aircraft after such a frivolous allegation? Had he been drunk yes it could be understood and this needs to certified again that one was drunk.

    • me

      unotopenga zvako iwe. nxaa benzi

  • melon

    the guards and the pilot know that aviation is a very sensitive area they had to search and the pilot knowing this had to cooperate by removing his clothes so that they fully see that he was a law abiding person

  • Yambira Muyambiri

    The pilot put on a show and those present did not have to pay to watch this clown. Lets just say today’s commedy comes in a variety of ways. If the Aviation authorities strip him of his licence for stripping he would become a stripper. He will get jobs on his new gig stripping for bachelorette parties.

  • Yambira Muyambiri

    There are other pilots passing through this airport and they are not stripping,

  • Wilson Magaya

    This is a sign of the frustrations and all said and done one can be taken to breaking point thus a pilot captain carrying 100+ people at 35,000+ feet broke down at a point where no other person even the many intoxicated regular fliers has broken down, for this he showed he could be a danger to self and others on the hand-bars of the Flying Machine.

    On another note though the security at Harare has some unnecessary procedures in its workflow that may need revisiting. Zimbabweans are well known for their creativity this maybe one issue to think about.

    On another note this is not the first time SAA crew members have been in the press for one thing or another, remember the Heathrow airport incident that saw the whole crew going to jail sometime back for what they were carrying in their luggage….. UHHHHH

  • royalty

    Good move. He needs to be evaluated for anger management and depression. If he has both he may not be fit to be a pilot. There is a certain composure required for pilots. I know one emotional woman from zim who is a pilot and does not have the emotional intelligence to be a pilot