DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Fearful of a repeat of the Air Philippines crash of 2000, passengers of Philippine Airlines Flight 1813 from Manila commended the pilot and crew for safe landing shortly before noon Sunday.
Gus Miclat, Executive Director of the Davao City-based Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) told MindaNews he and other passenger commended the PAL crew led by Capt. Jose Martin Noel and Flight Officer Jose Rex Salvilla for their quick decision as they were landing at the Davao International Airport from Manila.
“As we were just about a few meters past the edge of the runaway, the plane had to suddenly lift off again. Captain reported that due to a wind shear condition, we had to abort. And so we circled for a while before landing successfully after another try,” he said, adding they landed at around 11:50 p.m.
He said the economy and business class sections in the Airbus A321-231 aircraft were full. Only the premium economy was not.
Miclat said they were reminded of the Air Philippines tragedy of 2000 as it “had similar condition when the plane had to abort but was not successful and crashed in Samal.”
Air Philippines Flight 541 was about to land at the Davao International Airport early morning of Holy Wednesday, April 19, 2000 when the pilots saw that an aircraft that had earlier landed, had not cleared the runway. They advised the Air Traffic Control they would perform a missed approach and was flying at low altitude when it crashed on Samal Island. All 124 passengers and seven crew members were killed.
Miclat said he was “scared and I think others, too, maybe because I remembered the Air Philippines (crash of 2000). So while the plane was climbing, I was on the lookout if the engine was struggling.”
“Pilot was amazing and of course the plane was a newer one than that of Air Philippines,” he said.
The PAL aircraft’s age is 8.6 years while the Air Philippines aircraft was at least 22 years old. (MindaNews)