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Regulator says ‘near crash’ claim likely related to flight diverted to HK

The Macau Civil Aviation Authority (AACM) said in an email to the Macau Post Daily on Thursday that the pilot of an Air Macau flight from Taipei to Macau made two attempts to land the plane at the local airport on March 3, but was unsuccessful and was diverted to Hong Kong. The aviation regulator […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

The Macau Civil Aviation Authority (AACM) said in an email to the Macau Post Daily on Thursday that the pilot of an Air Macau flight from Taipei to Macau made two attempts to land the plane at the local airport on March 3, but was unsuccessful and was diverted to Hong Kong.

The aviation regulator sent the email in response to an enquiry by the Macau Post Daily on Wednesday after receiving an anonymous letter claiming that an Air Macau flight nearly crashed into a hill while attempting to land in the city. The letter also accused the AACM and Air Macau of trying to cover up the incident.

Although the letter did not state the flight number or from where it departed, the regulator said it believed that the letter was referring to a case involving flight NX 603 after checking its mandatory occurrence reports, stating that runway No. 16 was used “due to wind conditions at the time of the approach”.

“The first approach was aborted because the pilots could not establish visual contact with runway 16 due to a low cloud base. In accordance with the safety procedures, the pilots had to perform a go-around during which there was a deviation from the prescribed track but the aircraft was still within the established protection area. The pilots then made a second approach to runway 16 and subsequently decided to divert the flight to Hong Kong,” the regulator said in the email.

The email added that the AACM had received Air Macau’s preliminary report in regard to the incident on April 7, adding that the airline had to submit its final report by the end of this month. “Corrective actions have been taken by the operator including the provision of remedial training to the concerned pilots, and the provision of additional training to all pilots regarding the performance of go-around procedures under unfavourable weather conditions,” states the email.

In addition, Air Macau said in an email to The Macau Post Daily Thursday that one of its flights performed a go-around in early March “under marginal weather conditions” and the runway “was not clearly in sight”.

“During the execution of the go-around, there was a minor deviation from the standard go-around procedure, while the aircraft was within the safety zone at all times,” Air Macau said, stressing that none of the airline’s flights has ever been in danger of crashing into a hill. (macaunews/macaupost)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

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