SIA in Taipei airport mishap
July 19, 2002 Posted: 3:34 PM HKT (0734 GMT)
Staff and wires
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Taiwan aviation officials say a Singapore Airlines plane was on the wrong taxiway at Taipei airport – the scene of a deadly SIA crash in 2000 – when its wing hit two objects before taking off.
The carrier said in a statement the pilot of Flight SQ29, which landed safely in Singapore at about 0315 GMT Friday, was told by air traffic controllers that the wing “made contact with two tailstands” at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport.
A tailstand is equipment used to stabilize planes during the loading and unloading of cargo.
SIA said the crew was being interviewed by flight operations management and investigators from Singapore’s Ministry of Transport “to discover how the incident occurred.”
“Among the issues to be discussed is the routing the aircraft took while taxiing,” it said.
Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration told Reuters the plane was on the wrong taxiway when it hit the tailstands – echoing events leading up to the October 2000 crash that killed 83 of the 179 people on board a Los Angeles-bound Boeing 747.
“The control tower informed the captain about the incident and the captain said he found no abnormalities and continued taking off,” the airport’s director, Wang Teh-ho, told reporters in Taipei.
“It’s probably a mistake,” he said, without elaborating.
SIA’s flawless record of zero crashes or fatalities was shattered in a fiery accident at Chiang Kai-shek when Flight SQ006 slammed into construction equipment on a partially closed runway during a fierce storm.
The runway ran parallel to the one the plane was supposed to be on.
Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council issued a report in late April that said pilot error and bad weather were the most probable causes. Singapore disputed some of the findings and said operations at Chiang Kai-shek also were to blame.
SIA said Flight SQ29 suffered minor damage to a wing panel.
“Based on checks conducted in flight, the captain found no abnormalities with the aircraft’s performance and decided to continue to Singapore,” it said in the statement.