CAAP starts probe of Xiamen plane accident; pilots undergo drug, alcohol tests

Published August 20, 2018, 7:29 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Martin Sadongdong

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday announced it has progressed in its investigation of the accident involving a Xiamen Airways plane at the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

(Photo courtesy of Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
(Photo courtesy of Ninoy Aquino International Airport)

Captain Don Mendoza, CAAP Deputy Director General for Operations, said that the captain and the co-pilot who manned the XiamenAir plane were already subjected to drug and alcohol tests.

“The result of the drug tests were negative. We still await the result of the alcohol tests because it would take a long process,” Mendoza said, adding that they expect that the result of the alcohol test would be released within the day (Monday).

According to Mendoza, the Pilot in Command (PIC) or the captain is a Korean man, who is 50 years old and has a grand total time of 16,000 flying hours with 7,000 hours on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft type.

Meanwhile, the First Officer or the co-pilot is a Chinese male, 28 years old, with a grand total time of 950 flying hours and 750 hours on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft type.

Based on the results of the investigation of the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB), authorities found out that the Boeing 737-800 plane with Registry No. B-5498 and operated by Xiamen Airways had a runway excursion during landing at NAIA around 11:55 p.m. last August 16.

Mendoza said the aircraft departed from Xiamen, China.

The CAAP-AAIIB’s on-site investigation revealed that the aircraft’s left main gears initially landed on the left runway taxi edge line, 770 meters from the Runway (RWY) 24 threshold before it went out of the concrete portion of the runway.

Accordingly, the Pilot in Command (PIC) was on his second approach for landing at RWY 24.

“Upon landing, the left main landing gear landed on the left runway edge line before it went out of the concrete pavement of the runway,” Mendoza said.

“As it continued to move forward, the aircraft hit several runway lights and the tire was separated from the nose landing gear followed by the left main landing gear and left engine. The aircraft settled in an upright position when it stopped,” he added.

Luckily, the CAAP official said the pilots were unharmed despite the plane accident.

He added that investigators have also talked to the pilots and cabin crew to shed light on the incident.

The Xiamen Airlines plane accident caused the cancellation of several domestic and international flights, affecting thousands of passengers.

 
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