THE quick thinking pilot of an Airbus A330-200 saved the lives of 219 passengers and crew of Gulf Air Flight GF 155 after he decided to immediately execute emergency landing protocols and land his plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport following reports of engine trouble shortly after he took off on Friday afternoon.
The Manila International Airport Authority said the pilot of the twin-engine Bahrain bound plane, who was identified only as Capt Ra Beeh, requested for emergency landing clearance after its engine number one stalled while airborne shortly after it took off at 1:10 p.m. The captain safely landed the plane at 1:31 pm. at the NAIA’s runway 24 where it was met and escorted by fire trucks and rescue personnel.
The MIAA also said that as the twin-engine A330 jet lands safely, firemen trained their firetrucks mounted water hoses to the affected engine.
Aircraft technicians on the ground later speculated that high temperature might have caused the plane’s engine number one to burst and later stalled.
One of the passengers, identified as Floramina Munzon who was seating beside the left wing of the plane, said she heard something like an explosion after the plane lifted from the ground. Another passenger, who refused to be identified, said that while the plane is gaining height the pilot announced that they are returning to NAIA because of engine trouble while at the same time calmly assuring paseengers to “not worry because the situation it is under control.”
Initial report from the airline said their passengers were immediately booked in nearby hotels while the rest volunteered, especially Filipino passengers, to go home after they were issued boarding passes for the next available flight.