Low flying aircraft, believed to be a Gripen fighter jet, startles the community

An aircraft, believed to be a Gripen fighter jet, flies over Fourways.

UPDATE: 28 January, 8pm:

Senior Correspondent at African Defence Review Darren Olivier has since informed Fourways Review that the Gripen was flying for an official South African Air Force (SAAF) event. “It was at a safe altitude and flying a carefully-planned sequence,” said Olivier in a tweet.

Original story: 28 January, 7.36pm:

Some community members also said it flew over Woodmead.

While the sight and sound of the low flying aircraft scared some residents who took to Twitter to post their concerns and experiences, aircraft enthusiasts found the sound “incredible”.

BrandonH posted on the avcom.co.za, an online aviation forum, “Gripen. Went into holding pattern over Fourways?”

A holding pattern is a circular path that an aircraft takes to fly around an airport awaiting permission to land.  Fourways Review cannot confirm whether this is what the aircraft was doing in the Fourways area, however, given the description from eyewitnesses that the aircraft was flying in low circles, it would seem likely. This publication is following up with Lanseria Airport and local authorities and will update soon. 

bobbo_sa posted on avcom.co.za, “Came over Brackendowns in JHB south about 10mins ago, seriously hot and pretty low, would love to know what speed it was doing. Amazing to hear and see for a very brief moment. Anyone know what it’s reg is? Would love to try find some photos of it.”

Members of the Fourways Review news team also saw and felt the effects of the aircraft. Fourways Review journalist Tsholofelo Mosina said she saw the aircraft circle the suburb of Jukskei Park a few times and believed that it was flying so low that she thought it might crash into one of the houses.

Fourways Review group editor Megan Tyack said the windows of her Johannesburg North house rattled and her dogs were so scared by the low-flying aircraft that they ran into her bedroom. Tyack also believed the aircraft circled her suburb a few times before moving on.

Fourways residents took to Twitter to question what the aircraft was doing:

Did you hear the the aircraft or catch a glimpse of it? Post a description of what you saw in the comments section below

Daniella Potter
News Editor

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