Asian Spirit overshoots runway in Masbate


LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (eTN) – A plane with 47 people on board overshot the runway at an airport in Masbate City Wednesday morning, the airline said.

The Asian Spirit aircraft skidded to the edge of the airstrip and smashed the airstrip fence after apparently encountering strong winds on landing, company vice president Rodolfo Garcia said.

The 43 passengers, including seven children, and four flight crew members, were evacuated from the plane shaken but unharmed, said airport manager Josefina Nuñez.

Nuñez said the airport’s communication facilities were functioning well, but the winds were apparently too strong for the plane.

Air transportation officials have suspended all flights until the accident is completely investigated.

Nuñez said the Air Transportation Office (ATO) in Manila was sending an investigating team to the island to verify the cause of the accident and assess its damage.

She added, in a mobile phone interview, that a rescue equipment would also be sent from the ATO central office to pull the disabled aircraft.

The cost of damage had yet to be estimated but Nuñez said part of the runway fence was destroyed.

In a photo of the accident sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the plane’s right wing appears to have protruded to the national road behind the fence and almost hit side-street stores and houses.

Nuñez added that the aircraft’s right propeller, nozzle, right and nose wheels were destroyed.

The plane is a YS-11 type of aircraft, which can carry 64 passengers, and is about 26 meters long and nine meters high with a wingspan of 32 meters running at a cruise speed of 454 kilometers per hour.

Asian Spirit services domestic routes in the Philippines and is popular among budget travellers, including foreign backpackers travelling to see the scenic countryside.