Delayed By a Dangerous Haboob

When the U.N. Security Council headed to Africa on a 10-day trip, ambassadors thought their biggest security nightmare could come during a visit to a camp for Sudanese or Chadians caught up in the Darfur conflict and angry at the United Nations. But it turned out their scariest moment came from a “haboob” – a word few had ever heard.
Flying back from Juba, the capital of southern Sudan, and approaching the national capital, Khartoum, on the evening of June 8, the ambassadors were talking about their meetings to promote implementation of a January 2005 peace agreement ending another conflict – the 21-year civil war between the government and southern rebels – when the pilot suddenly revved up the engines.
Peru’s U.N. Ambassador Oswaldo Rivero, who happened to be sitting in the cockpit at the time talking to the Spanish pilot, said all of a sudden they saw a black cloud coming toward the plane. The pilot knew what it was – a “haboob” or sandstorm – and he immediately sought to gain altitude to avoid it.
“It was a terrible storm,” De Rivero said. “He was concerned about sand in the engines. That is very dangerous.”

I woulda hapooped.

2 Responses to “Delayed By a Dangerous Haboob”

  1. John says:

    I didn’t know St. Petersburg (Russia) had sandstorms, but that might explain why those damn Aeroflot pilots take off from that airport and then head up practically vertically once the wheels are up.

  2. Crusader says:

    So they barely missed habooby trap?

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