Bird strike grounds Cebu Pacific plane for hours in Naga
NAGA CITY, Philippines — A Cebu Pacific plane was grounded for hours on Monday after it was hit by birds as the aircraft landed at Naga Airport in Pili, Camarines Sur, according to an aviation official.
Monico Basallote, manager of the Civil Aviation Authority of Philippines based at the Naga Airport, said Tuesday that the mechanical crew of Cebu Pacific reported to him that feathers were found underneath the propeller of the right engine of Flight 5J 523, prompting CAAP to ground the plane for hours.
The plane underwent a mechanical checkup before it was flown back to Manila at 6 a.m. Tuesday, he said.
Basallote said Cebu Pacific sent another plane from Manila to Naga which arrived at past 5 p.m. on Monday to fly the passengers manifested on the grounded 72-seater ATR turbo-propeller aircraft.
He said the mechanics worked on the grounded plane Monday night to clean out the engine of the birds remains before it was flown back to Manila for further inspection.
According to Basallote, bird strikes have occurred at the Naga Airport but the incidents did not require the grounding of the plane for mechanical checkup.
“Airline crews have reported the same incidents but the plane would always fly back to Manila, unlike what happened Monday afternoon,” he said.
Basallote said Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 523 had already landed at Runway 04 of Naga Airport when the bird strike occurred. The runway is beside rice fields, where flocks of birds are seen from time to time.