Jet carrying 73 passengers overshoots Siargao runway due to bird strike

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Feb) – A passenger jet plane carrying 73 people overshot the runway in Siargao Island Tuesday morning apparently because of a bird strike, but nobody was injured in the incident.

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Del Carmen town in Siargao said the Skyjet plane ended up on the grass a few meters past the end of the runway of Sayak Airport.

The 73 people on board were reportedly helped disembark the plane by firefighters and airport workers. The plane reportedly landed at 11:32 a.m.

Gilbert Ortojan, manager of Skyjet Airline Siargao, said they are still investigating the cause of the incident but noted that there was a bird strike.

One of the passengers, 25-year-old Gregorio Pornillos Jr., told this writer over the phone that the captain tried to evade an eagle.

“At least we are all safe and sound,” he said. Upon disembarking the plane, Pornillos said one of the passengers shouted: “All is well!”

The Skyjet website said it operates 80-seater BAE-146 planes, which specialize in short takeoff and landing, manufactured by British Aerospace.

Flights to and from Siargao, a popular tourist destination, were reportedly suspended for the rest of the day.

Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro Jr. told MindaNews that they are now assisting the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to hasten investigation to ensure regular operations would resume soon.

The Del Carmen DRRMO said that the CAAP would conduct an investigation prior to any aircraft movement.

Coro said they are now waiting for CAAP to finalize its investigation to avoid further mishaps. He added that they are ready to respond, with help from the Department of Public Works and Highways, to pull the airline away from the runway as per agreed protocol so flights can resume. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)