Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Philippine Airlines: Plane had ‘rough landing,’ not emergency landing, at Hong Kong International Airport

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Airlines plane from Manila made a rough landing at the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday before noon amid the bad weather spawned by Typhoon Kalmaegi (local name: Luis).

The Philippines’ flag carrier had to issue a clarification after celebrity host KC Montero posted in social media details of what was initially believed as an emergency landing.

Montero was on board the PR-300 flight, which departed the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, at 8:08 a.m. on Tuesday.

The PAL plane, a 368-seater Airbus 330-300, was supposed to land at the Hong Kong International Airport at 10:10 a.m.

But PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the flight met a 55-minute delay due to the turbulent weather and air traffic congestion as a powerful typhoon was battering Hong Kong.

“It was a rough landing, but it wasn’t an emergency landing,” Villaluna said over the phone.

In a statement, PAL said the plane, which carried 312 passengers landed safely at the airport at 11:05 a.m.

“Captain Alberto Jimenez and First Officer Ned Clarence Javier commandeered the flight, which experienced rough patches due to proximity of Hong Kong to the typhoon in the area,” it said.

In his post on Twitter, Montero said: “I’ve taken nearly 1000 flights and this by far was the scariest. People screaming, emergency re-landing, people puking everywhere.”

“After circling for awhile we attempted to land again, wind was still severe but we managed to touch down to the trademark Pinoy applause,” he went on.

The celebrity host said that the plane pilots tried to land in Macau to avoid the bad weather and safely land.

“To the pilots of PR300, thank you for setting us down safely. Good job,” he said.

Villaluna said that based on the assessment of the flight deck, there was no need for them to alert aviation authorities for an emergency landing, which would require fire and rescue equipment and personnel nearby upon landing.

“There was no need to seek for assistance. They knew they could land the plane on their own,” she said.

In its statement, PAL boasted of its pilots who are capable of handling such turbulent weather.

“Our highly skilled pilots have the capability to handle the flight amidst rough weather conditions,” it said.

The return flight of PR-300, PR-301 already left Hong Kong at 1:31 p.m. on Tuesday and was scheduled to land Manila shortly past 3 p.m. on the same day.

- Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net