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Aeroflot A330 “stuck” on Phuket Airport’s runway

PHOTO: Facebook/Phuket International Airport - HKT

Normal services have resumed at Phuket Airport after an aircraft suffered an oil leak and and was unable to move off the runway, resulting in several flight delays.

The incident happened on Tuesday, April 23, after an Airbus A330 aircraft belonging to the Russian national carrier, Aeroflot, malfunctioned. It’s understood the plane’s hydraulic steering system failed, meaning it couldn’t steer itself off the runway.

The malfunction also resulted in a hydraulic oil being spilt on the runway, presenting a hazard for incoming and departing flights.

Air traffic controllers at the airport issued an alert to ground crew shortly after 10.30am and an Aircraft-On-Ground situation was declared, with a call for immediate maintenance, according to a Phuket News report.

The airport issued a Notice to Airmen, advising arriving and departing pilots that the runway was temporarily closed.

A number of inbound and outbound flights were delayed, with some arriving flights having to be diverted. In total, 15 flights were affected, with 5 incoming flights diverted to other airports and another 5 put in a holding pattern. Five departing flights were delayed.

A pushback tractor was deployed to move the stricken aircraft off the runway and after a clean-up operation, airport authorities checked the runway’s surface to ensure it complied with safety requirements. The runway re-opened for normal operations just before 11.40am.

According to a notice issued by Phuket International Airport, the authorities are investigating the aircraft malfunction and working to prevent similar incidents in the future, to protect the safety and efficiency of the airport’s operations.

Aeroflot was reported to having problems getting parts for some aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing, due to ongoing sanctions on imports to Russia.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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