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'Swerved wildly': Plane veers off runway at Christchurch Airport

Author
Jamie Lyth,
Publish Date
Fri, 31 May 2024, 9:24am

'Swerved wildly': Plane veers off runway at Christchurch Airport

Author
Jamie Lyth,
Publish Date
Fri, 31 May 2024, 9:24am

A plane “swerved wildly” and left the runway while landing at Christchurch Airport today, ending up in the grass.

Passenger Diana Clement on Jetstar flight JQ225 from Auckland said the plane came to a stop half on the runway and half on the grass this morning.

“We swerved across the grass, we swerved wildly.”

Christchurch Airport communications advisor Jo Scott said the runway has now been carefully inspected and cleaned.

“The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has cleared its reopening,” Scott said.

The terminal is now open, and the airport is operating as normal.

Aviation authorities in New Zealand and Australia will be looking into the landing.

“The Civil Aviation Authority is aware of the incident that occurred at Christchurch Airport and is making initial inquiries into the event,” a CAA spokesperson said.

“JetStar operates under the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which has also been notified.”

According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau website, the same plane involved in this incident had a screwdriver tip in its engine “for over 100 flights”.

A Jetstar spokesperson said a steering issue caused the incident.

“After landing in Christchurch, the aircraft experienced a steering issue, causing it to veer on the runway at low speed.

“There are no injuries to passengers or crew. The aircraft was towed to the gate and all passengers have disembarked.”

A Jetstar A320 has made an emergency landing on the runway at Christchurch Airport. Photo/ George HeardA Jetstar A320 has made an emergency landing on the runway at Christchurch Airport. Photo/ George Heard 

The incident closed the runway and has delayed several flights.

Flight SQ297 from Singapore was diverted from Christchurch because of the event. It landed safely at 9.30am in Auckland.

Passengers remained in the aircraft for at least an hour after it landed.

Clement, a Herald columnist, was slightly shaken, but no one was injured.

“We had a hydraulic leak on the right and the plane left the runway.

“We are surrounded by fire trucks.”

The flight landed in Christchurch at approximately 7.44am, leaving from Auckland. Photo / Diana ClementThe flight landed in Christchurch at approximately 7.44am, leaving from Auckland. Photo / Diana Clement 

Passenger John Spence said he has a pilot’s licence and believed he “understood” what had happened.

“There was a hydraulic problem in the landing gear so, of course, when they touched down, it just swerved to the right slightly,” he said.

“But the pilot is fantastic, I feel for the guy because his legs must be like jelly.”

Spence said the swerve happened about three or four seconds after the plane landed.

“I believe they took out about two or three of the lights.”

He said everyone in the cabin was “pretty calm” during the incident.

Passenger Jessie Singh said: “People didn’t panic and the air stewards were really great.

“We’re thankful everyone is safe and for the quick actions of our pilot.”

David Gundy said the incident was “pretty exciting”.

“We just hit the runway running, rolling and then came off the side and went back on the runway.”

It caused a bit of vibration through the cabin but wasn’t a dramatic shaking, he said.

“You wouldn’t even have known if you weren’t looking out the window.”

Emergency teams arrived and checked over the plane before it was towed to the terminal, he said.

The flight landed in Christchurch at 7.44am, having left Auckland at 6.21am.

Police confirmed they were notified of an aircraft sliding off a runway in Christchurch about 7.45am.

There are no reports of injuries at this time. Photo / Diana ClementThere are no reports of injuries at this time. Photo / Diana Clement 

There were no reports of injuries.

One of the passengers reported “quite a few lights were taken out” during the incident.

Fire and Emergency confirmed multiple vehicles from Christchurch and Canterbury were sent out at 7.48am.

Six fire trucks, one ladder unit and a command unit were sent but the units were stood down.

Hato Hone St John ambulance sent two rapid response vehicles to the scene.

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