'Hero' PAL pilot recalls rough landing in HK airport

by Raoul Esperas

Posted at Sep 16 2014 08:20 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2014 04:20 AM

MANILA - The hero pilot of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 300 who successfully landed the Airbus 330 after experiencing turbulence in a final approach at the Hong Kong airport on Tuesday is back in Manila.

Captain Albert E. Jimenez, a commercial pilot for 25 years, recounted his first and worst experience as a pilot in command.

He told ABS-CBN News it was his first experience to land on turbulent conditions.

He described the entire 2-hour flight from Manila as smooth sailing until they reached the final approach for landing at the Hong Kong airport

"We knew that there was bad weather en route, but visibility is beyond 10 miles. During the approach, strong winds brought the plane to rough ride for all of us," Jimenez said.

Jimenez said he and his co-pilot maintained their calm and observed the basic safety standards procedure in landing the Airbus 330 plane during turbulence.

“I really apologized to all the passengers who experienced the turbulence, but we have to go through the turbulent winds to be able to safely land in Hong Kong,” he said.

Passengers, on the other hand, were all praises for Captain Jimenez for his composure.

Jimenez explained his first attempt was a “mis-approach,” forcing him to turn around and make a second attempt to land even with the weather condition at its worst.

"Thank God we are all safe and thank you to all passengers who prayed for their safety," he said.

Typhoon Kalmaegi (Philippine name, Luis), which devastated several provinces in the Philippines, also buffeted Hong Kong yesterday, with gusts of up to 159 kilometers per hour.

As a result, flights were disrupted and the stock market was forced to close.