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Airport staff manhandle plane off runway on Lanyu

2012/05/09 21:13:59

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) Airport staff on Taiwan's offshore island of Lanyu had to physically haul a plane off a runway for repair after a mechanical glitch caused the pilot to abort the takeoff.

Five workers at Lanyu Airport pushed and pulled the 19-seat Daily Air plane over 300 meters to the apron after the pilot stopped the plane, a Dornier 228 bound for Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan, reporting problems with its nose wheel.

Airport officials said the incident caused a delay of six hours.

"There was no smoke coming out of the plane and everything seemed fine at the time," local media quoted one passenger as saying.

Chia Pao-yi, an airline official overseeing flight safety, said the plane had to be pulled to the apron manually because there was no trailer to provide a tow.

He added that the company sent staff from Taitung to the island to investigate immediately after the incident.

They discovered that the problem was a malfunctioning nose wheel, which seized when the hot weather caused an oil pipe to expand and burst.

The official said checks were conducted before the plane took off, but they failed to show the potential for trouble because the problem was not easily detectable to the naked eye.

(By Tyson Lu and Scully Hsiao)