Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines investigates Zest Air-Cebu Pacific wingtip collision

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Wednesday started a preliminary investigation on the wingtip-to-wingtip collision of Cebu Pacific and Zest Air airplanes in Puerto Princesa Airport late Tuesday.

In an interview with GMA News Online, Capt. Amado Soliman Jr., head of CAAP’s aircraft investigation inquiry board, said, “as per the report we got, the wingtips of both aircrafts have been damaged.”

Soliman noted the black box of both aircraft will be ‘read out’ in Singapore as part of the investigation.

A black box also known as a flight data recorder is a device use to record an aircraft’s performance parameter.

“Ang eroplano kasi hindi porke nakita mo na may damage ganun na lang ‘yun. Malalaman ang stress ng structure ‘pag na-read na ‘yung black box. We will be able to determine the G-force[s] that applied in the collision,” he explained.

“G-forces” push on a free-moving object, such as an airplane, with 1G equivalent to the force of normal gravity.

He did not say how much damage the budget carriers incurred from the accident. “We do not make estimation or assess damages.”

No one was reported hurt or injured in the incident.

Around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the wingtips of Zest Air and Cebu Pacific airplanes collided. The Zest Air aircraft was loading passengers, while the Cebu Pacific plane was taxiing out of the Puerto Princesa tarmac.

Asked when the investigation will be over, Soliman said that an accident investigation follows no time frame as a probe usually is “very fluid.”

A year earlier, a Cebu Pacific plane also figured in an accident in the same airport. One of its planes burst a tire upon nighttime landing when the plane touched down in a grassy area of the Puerto Princesa Airport. —VS, GMA News

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