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Pilots, crew suspended after plane veers off runway in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday, June 15, 2020, 13:10 GMT+7
Pilots, crew suspended after plane veers off runway in Ho Chi Minh City
A Vietjet aircraft is salvaged after it skidded off a runway during a landing attempt at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 14, 2020. Photo: T.T. / Tuoi Tre

Two pilots and six flight attendants have been temporarily suspended from their job after a plane skidded off the runway during a landing attempt in bad weather at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday afternoon.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has imposed the suspension upon two foreign pilots and six flight attendants of flight VJ322, operated by low-cost carrier Vietjet Air, to assist in an investigation into the accident.

The pilots also had their licenses temporarily seized.

Investigators are working with relevant agencies to analyze the aircraft’s black box, including the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, to determine the cause of the incident.

Flight VJ322 touched down in Ho Chi Minh City at 12:10 pm on Sunday after departing from Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam.

As it was landing at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the aircraft slid off the runway, with one of its wheels damaged.

All passengers and crew members were unharmed, but the runway had to be shut down, affecting hundreds of flights.

Tan Son Nhat has two runways, 25R/07L and 25L/07R, its operator said.

The Vietjet plane skidded off the 25L/07R runway, while the 25R/07L was closed as an examination was being carried out to prepare for its upgrade.

Operations at the airdrome were halted until 6:30 pm the same day, when the 25R/07L runway was reopened.

The Vietjet aircraft was successfully pulled from the accident site into a parking lot at 6:30 am on Monday.

The 25L/07R runway was reopened nearly two hours later at 8:27 am after authorities had finished fixing runway lights damaged by the runaway plane.

The effort took quite a long time as the plane needed to have its damaged wheel replaced before it could be moved.

The other runway has been shut down again from 9:00 am the same day for upgrade surveys.

A Vietjet representative on Sunday attributed the incident to rain and strong winds.

However, an aviation official stated that the weather conditions were not bad enough to affect landing at the airport.

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