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CAAP lost sight, contact with Xiamen Air plane before NAIA mishap

Workers try to remove a Xiamen Air Boeing 737-800 from the tarmac after it skidded off at the runway of Ninoy Aquino International airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, in the Philippines, August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The air traffic controllers lost contact with the Boieng 737 of the Chinese airline Xiamen Air before the passenger plane skidded at the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last August 16.

According to Marlene Singson, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Aerodome Division, they lost sight of the aircraft and the pilot no longer responded to further radio contact after receiving a clearance to land.

After losing sight and contact with the aircraft, Singson said they sought assistance from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) safety patrol to check the runway.

MIAA later found the aircraft, with all of its 165 passengers safe.

Nakikita ng mga naka-duty at that time yung runway, yung navigational lines niya, closing in talaga sa runway, malapit na malapit talaga siya,” Singson said during the Senate hearing regarding the recent NAIA mishap.

Nung hinihintay nilang mag-touchdown, hindi na sumasagot. Expected kasi natin, two minutes after binigay yung landing clearance dapat lalapag na siya. Pero nung time na iyon, visually nawala siya, wala na rin radio contact,” Singson added.

Singson further added that some parts of the runway were experiencing strong rains.

Airport authorities have yet to confirm whether the incident resulted from a pilot error since the flight recordings are still being investigated in Singapore.

The Senate has started its investigation on the recent incident in NAIA that paralyzed the operations of the airports for almost two days causing hundreds of cancelled and delayed flights while thousands of passengers got stranded.

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