LIST: NAIA runway mishaps over the years
MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), one of the world’s busiest airports, serves as the main gateway for domestic and international flights to the Philippine capital.
That is why accidents and other unexpected incidents on the airport’s runways and premises can paralyze flight operations.
On Thursday, August 16, Xiamen Air flight MF8667 slid off the airport runway during what the pilot described as heavy rainfall. The Boeing 737 ended up stuck in a muddy area. This forced the closure of the runway for 36 hours as NAIA scrambled to remove the aircraft.
This recent incident, however, was not a first in Manila’s international airport. Inclement weather, as well as faulty engines, are among the usual causes of serious runway accidents over the years.
Here's a look back at some of the airport’s major runway mishaps:
1980, February 7: China Airlines flight CI 811
China Airlines flight CI 811 undershot what was then called the Manila International Airport (MIA) runway upon landing, and caught fire. The aircraft came from Taipei, Taiwan. Two passengers out of the 124 passengers and 11 crew members on board died.
1989, July 21: Philippine Airlines flight PR 124
The British Aircraft Corp. (BAC) 1-11 jet of the Philippine Airlines overshot the MIA runway during a rainstorm, careening through a portion of the South Luzon Expressway near Nichols Air Base.
No fatalities were recorded among the 93 passengers and 5 crew members aboard the Zamboanga City to Manila flight. However, the crash killed 8 on the ground, after the jet collided with at least 3 vehicles.
According to aviation authorities, the pilot was warned against landing, as heavy rain lessened visibility and runway lights began to malfunction. The incident caused a traffic jam along the expressway, as well as in the air.
1990, May 11: Philippine Airlines flight 143
Philippine Airlines flight 143 bound for Iloilo City was being towed to the NAIA runway in preparation for take-off when an explosion rocked the Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Moments later, the plane, carrying 120 people on board, was engulfed in fire and heavy smoke.
Passengers reported at least 3 explosions in the plane. While it was initially speculated that a bomb may have caused the blast, no explosive materials were found. Authorities suspected a busted fuel tank may have caused the mishap.
The explosion killed 8 passengers, and left more than 80 injured.
1999, June 28: Federal Express (FedEx) flight FX-77S
In the middle of heavy rain, the Federal Express FX-77S cargo plane overshot the airport’s runway by about 20 meters. The Airbus A310, which took off from Cebu City, came to a halt just by the NAIA concrete perimeter wall. According to a report by the Associated Press, the airbus stopped merely two meters away from a busy highway in Parañaque City.
All crewmen, including one FedEx employee, were unhurt. Some flights were allowed access to and from NAIA via the other end of the main runway after the incident.
2009, August 23: South East Asian Airlines flight DG-0624
SEAir Dornier 328 registered RP-C6328 flight from Caticlan to Manila swerved right off NAIA’s Runway 13, coming to a stop on a grassy area near Runway 4. The aircraft encountered a strong gush of crosswinds upon landing, causing it to veer off its original tracks.
No passengers were injured. However, the airport was temporarily closed to allow towing.
2013, June 14: Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 flight 5J448
Cebu Pacific flight 5J448 just landed in NAIA from Iloilo City when it skidded to the right portion of the runway amid heavy rain, damaging 5 runway edge lights.
An incident report by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), operator of the NAIA, said all 95 passengers of the Airbus A320 were safe. Unlike previous incidents, NAIA operations were not disrupted by the incident. – Rappler.com
Sources: Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, various news reports. Photos from Wikipedia Commons
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