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Cargo plane in emergency landing

By NALINEE SEELAL Wednesday, May 28 2014

THE Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airports Authority went on full alert while other agencies including the police and fire services as well as the National Operations Centre (NOC) were on standby on Monday night to facilitate the emergency landing of a Venezuelan-registered cargo plane which developed hydraulic problems shortly after take off from Piarco International Airport.

According to reports at about 8.26 pm, the Vensacar Airline’s Boeing 727 cargo aircraft declared a full emergency shortly after take-off en route to Venezuela when the pilot developed problems with the aircraft’s hydraulic system.

The Airports Authority and all supporting agencies were alerted resulting in systems being put in place to facilitate the landing of the aircraft. The aircraft returned to Trinidad at about 8.45 pm and landed safely at Piarco. However, Newsday understands hydraulic fluid from the aircraft leaked during the landing and this fluid had to be cleaned from the runway.

The aircraft was then towed to the South Apron for repairs. The runway was closed from 8.45 pm. As a consequence, incoming Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flights 483, 446, 485, 481 and 3543 including LIAT 338 were delayed.

Newsday was told by airport sources that as the runway was closed, several aircraft circled overhead for several minutes while waiting to be given the all-clear to land. The airport was reopened at 9.45 pm.

Yesterday, CAA director Ramesh Lutchmedial told Newsday an inspection is being carried out by CAA inspectors and a representative of Vensacar Airlines to ascertain what caused the problem with the aircraft’s hydraulic/landing gear system.

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