Xiamen plane ‘disappeared’ minutes before landing – CAAP
Two minutes after getting a clearance to land, the ill-fated Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 “disappeared” before skidding off the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Marlene Singson, aerodrome division chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), narrated how the incident happened when she faced the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on Wednesday.
Singson said that at 11:35 pm of August 16, Xiamen 8667 made its first contact with the Manila air traffic control tower.
At 11:38 p.m., she said the tower gave the plane a clearance to land.
But Singson said Xiamen 8667 initiated a “go around” at 11:40 pm.
“Pagkatapos ng ‘go around,’ yung tower controller na naka-assign, tinanong nya initially ano yung reason for going around kasi we need to establish kung yun ba ay equipment issue baka meron syang kelangang assistance on the ground so we can alert the necessary units na kelangang mag responde sa kanyang go around,” she explained.
The tower controller received no response from the pilot, Singson said.
The pilot, she said, made a second contact at 11:53 pm. The controller again gave the aircraft a clearance to land, which was acknowledged by the pilot.
Before landing, the pilot again asked for confirmation if it was clear to land.
Then Singson said the plane was later seen approaching the runway.
“Malapit na malapit na sya,” she said.
She explained that two minutes after getting a clearance to land, the plane should land at the airport.
“Pero nung time na yun, visually nawala na sya. Wala na ring radio contact,” Singson said.
At that point, she said, they asked assistance from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) safety patrol to check the runway.
“Kasi hindi sumasagot at hindi rin makita sa tower,” Singson said.
“Note, however, na malakas ang ulan sa area na yun,” she added.
The safety patrol later saw the plane at the runway. All 165 onboard were safe. /cbb