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PIA Press Release
2009/02/15

Friday the 13th "bird strike" cancels Cebu Pacific's Tacloban-Manila morning flight

Tacloban City (February 14) -- The Friday the 13th early morning flight of Cebu Pacific, 5J562, from Tacloban to Manila was cancelled forcing passengers to take alternative flights later on the day.

A bird strike caused engine trouble for Cebu Pacific flight 5J651 as it was landing at the DZR Airport in Tacloban Airport in Leyte early morning of Friday, February 13.

Early information revealed that the said plane was landing at Tacloban Airport when a bird got sucked, breaking the engine's three blades. The Cebu Pacific airbus 319 was able to land safely and the 125 passengers safely alighted from the plane, thanks to the quick and sound judgment of the pilot.

Cebu Pacific's Ms. Michelle de Guzman confirmed the incident saying that "a Cebu Pacific flight from Manila had a bird strike as it approached Tacloban airport this morning. The plane landed normally and will undergo servicing and maintenance."

Because the aircraft had to undergo servicing and maintenance, Cebu Pacific flight 5J562 from Tacloban to Manila was cancelled and the passengers who were in a hurry to reach Manila had to take other alternative flights.

The incident which was the first incident of bird strike in the history of aviation in Tacloban, is considered by others as a wake up call for the authorities to look into the implementation of the long standing ordinance in the City of Tacloban prohibiting the raising of birds within a four kilometer radius from the airport.

Just recently, on Thursday night (11:00 o'clock in the morning of Friday in the Philippines), a passenger plane crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York, in snowy weather on Thursday night and burst into flames, killing 50 people.

The 74-seat commuter plane lost contact with air traffic controllers and went down a few miles before the runway at the Buffalo airport, authorities said.

Last month, a US Airways jetliner crashed into the Hudson River after a flock of birds appeared to have disabled both its engines.

Rescuers, however, were able to pull out the more than 150 passengers and crew members into boats before the plane sank. (PIA 8) [top]

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