Cebu Pacific Plane Accident

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) officials on Saturday clarified that the accident involving Cebu Pacific plane at Cotabato airport on Friday was very minor and isolated.

Leon Masalta, CAAP-Cotabato manager, said the Cebu Pacific Airbus 320 did not figure in an accident but only a minor incident when it hit a soft portion of the Awang runway and suffered no damages to aircraft or caused injuries to passengers, although Masalta admitted the incident triggered a two-hour delay on the Manila-Cotabato-Manila flights of Cebu Pacific.

No one was injured in the incident, the second in two years and the second for Moro National Liberation Front chair and Cotabato City Vice Mayor Muslimen Sema.

Masalta said the plane was slowly negotiating a turn-around when its left wing suddenly lowered, sending the plane to a halt.

"It was a pilot error," Masalta said, adding that all airline companies using the Awang airport have been notified not to turn-around half-way of the six-kilometer runway because there were soft portions in the middle.

He said the left plane's tires stuck and could not move.

Cebu Pacific terminal personnel had to use private vehicles and airport vans to fetch passengers from runway 28 of the Awang airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

"Everyone in the aircraft deplaned safely although the Cotabato-Manila flight was delayed," he said.

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