CAAP bars Xiamen Air pilot from leaving Philippines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2018 02:49 PM | Updated as of Sep 15 2019 02:11 PM

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MANILA - The pilot of the Chinese plane that went off the main runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) earlier this week has been barred from leaving the country, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Saturday.

The pilot of Xiamen Air flight MF 8667 has been asked to appear before the CAAP on Monday, August 20, as part of the agency's investigation, CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio told DZMM radio.

Aviation authorities will have to "determine if the incident was force majeure or was due to pilot error," Apolonio said.

The plane was carrying 157 passengers and 8 crew members when it veered off the runway upon landing at NAIA before midnight Thursday. Officials earlier said it was the pilot's second attempt to land.

No one was injured from the incident but the stranding of the plane at NAIA's runway 06/24 led to the cancellation of several flights that left thousands of passengers stuck at the airport's terminals.

"Definitely there will be sanctions for airline and pilots kung sakaling they committed any violations ng safety procedures," he added.

Apolonio declined to identify possible sanctions that may be issued against Xiamen Air and its pilot as the investigation is ongoing. 

Authorities have secured the plane's cockpit and data recorders for use in the probe, Apolonio said.

"Maririnig doon [ang nangyari] kasi 'yun 'yung recorded conversation between the pilot and the tower during the time na mag-approach sila or while in Philippine skies," he said.

(We will find out there what happened because it recorded the conversation between the pilot and the tower during the time they approached or entered Philippine skies.)

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has apologized for the inconvenience the incident caused.