Xiamen pilot blames heavy rains for NAIA runway overshoot: sources

Rescue
workers walk past the detached left engine of a Xiamen Air
Boeing 737-800 after it skidded off at the runway of Ninoy
Aquino International Airport Friday. Erik De Castro,
Reuters

MANILA — The Chinese pilot of the plane that skidded off the
runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport blamed heavy
rains for the accident that forced the cancellation of hundreds
of flights over the weekend, ABS-CBN sources said Sunday.

The Xiamen Airlines aircraft on Thursday evening landed on its
second attempt before skidding onto the grass, ripping off its
left engine and blocking the runway of the NAIA until Saturday
noon.

The aircraft’s pilot claimed that rains obstructed his view of
the runway during landing, when he faced an initial
investigation at the Civil Aviation Authority of the
Philippines (CAAP), according to a senior official of the
agency who declined to be named.

However, a voice recording between the air traffic controller
and Xiamen Airlines flight MF8667 indicated no distress
message, unusual conversation or any explanation from the pilot
as to why he aborted his first approach, the ABS-CBN source
said.

The CAAP has recovered the plane’s black box and flight data
recorder, which contain the cockpit voice recording and data on
the condition of the aircraft.

The flight data recorder will be analyzed in Singapore, one
source said.

“All the technical details encoded on the flight data recorder
will help in the analysis on the condition of the Boeing 737
plane while the statement of the pilot and crew is vital to
determine human factor,” the CAAP official said.

Xiamen aviation authorities will meet with CAAP and have asked
for a full report of the accident, said Manila International
Airport Authority general manager Ed Monreal.

Report from Raoul Esperas, ABS-CBN News

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