Two Philippine airliners abort flights due to problems

A Philippine Airlines flight to Japan was forced to turn back just minutes after taking off on Monday (Sept 26).
A Philippine Airlines flight to Japan was forced to turn back just minutes after taking off on Monday (Sept 26).PHOTO: EPA

MANILA  (AFP) – A Philippine passenger jet heading to Japan was forced to turn back Monday (Sept 26) after smoke was detected in the aircraft, while the wheel of a second plane caught fire after it aborted taking off from a separate airport, an aviation official said.

The first incident involved a Philippine Airlines flight to Haneda which had just taken off from Manila, said Eric Apolonio, spokesman for the civil aviation authority.

“Apparently there was information that the pilot detected smoke in the cabin. So as part of safety measures, the pilot had to return to the ground,” he told AFP.

The Airbus A340-300 plane, carrying 222 passengers and 13 crew was forced to return to Manila 20 minutes after taking off, a PAL statement said.

PAL said there was no panic and the passengers all disembarked safely and would travel to Japan on another aircraft.

Meanwhile, an ATR 72-500 aircraft from budget carrier Cebu Pacific was taking off from the central island of Cebu when instruments warned of an oil problem in one of the two turboprop engines, Apolonio said.

As it was taxiing off the runway after aborting take off, one of the plane’s wheels burst into flames and the 67 passengers and crew were forced to evacuate, he added.

One passenger suffered a slight leg injury during the evacuation, he said.

The cause of the incidents are still being investigated, the two airlines said in separate statements.