By Benjie Lim Vergara
INVESTIGATORS looking into last week’s crash landing of Xiamen Airlines Boeing B737-800 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport made another thorough inspection of a portion of runway 06/24 where the accident happened.
This according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (CAAP-AAIB) as they make their final analysis of the accident and recommendation.
CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio, at the same time, said there are two choices where to send the plane’s black box – Singapore or Japan. He noted that it is a first come, first serve policy when in a situation like this. In Singapore, they must wait for long line of request, but in Japan is much easier, so most likely the black box will be sent to the latter.
The black box contains two separate equipment: the flight data recorder (FDR) and a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). They are compulsory on any commercial flight or corporate jet and are usually kept in the tail of an aircraft, where they are more likely to survive a crash, said in a website.
Apolonio said experts will decipher what exactly the condition of the aircraft before it lands the runway as well as the conversation between the pilot and the Manila Control Tower.
CAAP source said Xiamen Air’s pilot during its investigation at the CAAP office in Pasay City told CAAP probers that heavy rains obstructed his view of the runway during his first and second attempt to land.
Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has issued certification addressed to immigration officials in Riyadh and Dammam that returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to their country with expired visas was due to the force majeure situation in Manila which started August 16, 2018.
“A number of passengers of the canceled flights to the Middle East whose visas to these countries have expired have been given PAL certifications indicating that they are returning with expired visas due to the force majeure situation,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.
“We thank the Civil Aviation Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for approving the triangulated flight -Manila/Riyadh/Dammam/Manila – thus enabling our kababayans, our OFWs to fly back and resume employment,” she added.
In view of the recent cancellations of flights to Saudi Arabia, PAL will mount flights on Wednesday, August 22, to accommodate displaced passengers en-route to Riyadh and Dammam.
Villaluna said the airline has mounted PR5654 (Manila-Riyadh-Dammam) that departed at 11:45a.m. and arriving in Riyadh at 4:20p.m., while it will arrive in Dammam at 6:55p.m.
Also, PR5683 (Riyadh-Dammam-Manila) will depart Riyadh at 5:50 p.m., departure from Dammam at 8:35 p.m. and will arrive in Manila at 11:35 a.m. (August 23).
Villaluna said passengers who wish to take the flight but have not yet received a notification that they are booked, are advised to immediately contact the airline 8558888, or any PAL ticketing office as soon as possible due to the limited number of seats.