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Typhoon winds damage Malaysian, Singapore commercial planes at Philippine airport

Publication Date : 17-07-2014


Typhoon "Glenda" (international name: Rammasun) brought winds so strong they moved and damaged two commercial airplanes parked at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines on Wednesday morning.

“This is the first time I encountered an incident like this in my more than 15 years of service at the airport,” Dante Basanta, manager of the NAIA Terminal 1 told the Inquirer.

Airport officials said the left wing of Singapore Airlines’ Boeing B777-200 on the ground was broken after the winds pushed the aircraft toward the air bridges of Terminal 1.

Basanta said no one was aboard the aircraft, which had been parked at a bay of the Terminal since Tuesday night with the airline crew thinking that the typhoon would not do the aircraft any harm.

“The left wing of the aircraft was damaged and the overlining of its Engine 1 had a dent after it hit the air bridges near where it was parked,” Basanta said.

The incident happened while Typhoon Glenda was battering Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Wednesday morning.

A similar thing  happened to a Malaysian Airlines plane, a Boeing B737-800 which was parked at the Bay 17 of Terminal 1.

The strong winds caused it to move 45 degrees to its side, hitting the service stairs  nearby. As a result, its fuselage suffered a opuncture on the right side.

No one was reported injured in these incidents.

“Both happened in the morning. It was somehow rare. I can imagine how heavy an aircraft is and the two were moved by the typhoon winds,” Basanta said.

Ideally, airlines keep their aircraft  safe it hangars and remote parking bays. But airline crews could have underestimated the strength of the typhoon.

A statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said a team of investigators have been dispatched to the cene to assess the damage.

Basanta noted that the two airlines would have to do the necessary repair of the aircraft before these can be flown.

Meanwhile, all the managers of the four Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals on Wednesday were ordered by the head of the Manila International Airport Authority to conduct an inspection of the extent of damage caused by the Typhoon Glenda.

The typhoon was so fierce aviation authorities shut down the airport’s  two runways,  practically paralysing the entire airport operations for nearly four hours Wednesday morning.

The runways were closed at 7am. Wednesday as the typhoon brought on strong winds and heavy rains, affecting all incoming and outgoing flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines  reopened the runways at 10:40 a.m. giving clearance to all airlines to take off and land.

The debris by that time had already been cleared,  a press statement coming from the MIAA said.

At exactly 11.13am, when the weather had cleared up, an Eva Air plane made the first landing.

“A cursory assessment must be made so that corrective action can be instituted right away to ensure unhampered operations once flights resume,” Jose Angel Honrado, MIAA general manager said.

According to initial reports reaching the MIAA, strong winds broke glass panels and fixtures and caused the collapse of a scaffolding being used  at the NAIA Terminal 1.

Boarding bridges 101 to 106 in Terminal 3 were also reported to have suffered slight damage.

Only minor incidents were reported at the other terminals.

Airlines started cancelling flights to and from Manila as early as Tuesday in anticipation of bad weather.


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