A Kenya Airways Boeing 787 was forced to return to Johannesburg earlier today. The aircraft departed from Johannesburg with a mechanic still onboard. Thankfully, the mechanic was returned to Johannesburg unharmed.
Every now and again we see a story where an aircraft departs before all of the staff have deplaned. While this can involve ground crew left within the cabin, it is more likely to occur in the hold. It’s harder to notice somebody left in the hold than in the cabin. While it’s unconfirmed whether the incident today occurred in the cabin or the hold, it’s seems as though it may have been the latter.
Flight KQ761 was due to depart from Johannesburg at 12:10. However, the flight didn’t depart until 10 minutes late at 12:23. After departure the aircraft proceeded to head roughly north. Around 10-15 minutes into the flight, the aircraft made a u-turn to head back towards Johannesburg.
The aircraft reached 31,000 feet midway though its turn before descending back down towards its origin. The aircraft touched down at Johannesburg at around 40 minutes after departure at 13:04.