Saturday, May 17, 2008

Asia Pacific Airlines Boeing 727 runway overrun at Pohnpei

Asia Pacific Airlines logoOn Friday, May 16, 2008, an Asia Pacific Airlines (APA) Boeing 727-200 aircraft overran the end of the runway on arrival at the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia. The aircraft (registration N319NE) came to a rest with its nosewheel in the water of a lagoon at the end of the runway at Pohnpei International Airport (PTPN) . The air cargo flight had originated at Guam, carrying U.S. Mail and mixed freight. The FAA's preliminary report about the incident noted that no one among the three crew members and two passengers on board was injured.

The FAA preliminary report, referenced above, stated that damage to the aircraft was "minor" and that the nose wheel was in the water, while the rest of the aircraft was on the runway. A Pacific Magazine article about the incident reported that the aircraft was not obstructing the runway:
"The aircraft is completely off the runway and is not blocking it," said APA's Guam-based manager Robert Walker Friday night. The "closest part of aircraft to runway is probably 20 feet or so and that is the left wingtip."
Pacific Magazine mentioned that this is the second time that an aircraft has skidded off the 6,000 ft. runway at Pohnpei. In the previous accident the aircraft was destroyed and part of the runway was damaged. The runway is reportedly scheduled to be extended by an additional 800 feet later this year.

UPDATE May 23, 2008: News reports have said that the runway at Pohnpei Airport reopened on May 22, 2008. The runway had been closed after the Asia Pacific Airlines accident.