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The aircraft on the tarmac at Phuket International Airport after landing

Phuket Airport Emergency Landing: Aircraft Being Diverted After Air Berlin Engine 'Catches Fire'

Thursday, December 20, 2012

AVIATION experts said Friday that the tyre may have burst because the emergency landing on Phuket was carried out with one engine and a full load of fuel.

Original Report

PHUKET: An Air Berlin aircraft made an emergency landing at Phuket International Airport tonight, forcing other flights to be diverted to Bangkok.

Initial reports said the captain on the flight to Germany via Abu Dhabi reported a burning engine 30 minutes from Phuket and turned back.

Emergency procedures were in place with fire trucks and ambulances on standby on Phuket as the Airbus landed.

One passenger said later that a tyre ''exploded'' on landing and fire officers quickly responded.

No injuries were reported when the aircraft incident occurred, a Phuketwan reporter was told by an airport source.

Flight AB7425 took off about 8.40pm with 249 passengers on board.

The source said the diversion of aircraft commenced as soon as the incident occurred. The likely result of the incident is that Phuket airport will be on overload for at least 12 hours, possibly longer.

One airport source said the airport would reopen at 3am on Friday.

A British expat resident of Phuket, Duncan Worthington, who was waiting for a friend to arrive at Phuket airport tonight, said information was scarce.

''The board just says 'Delayed, delayed, delayed,' '' he said. His friend's flight turned back to Bangkok. ''There is no information being provided to people.''

Minutes later, Mr Worthington was able to establish that his friend's Bangkok Airways flight, originally leaving Bangkok at 19.44pm, had been rescheduled to depart for Phuket at 04.30am tomorrow.

All flights were diverted to bangkok, an airport source said, At least one other flight was diverted to Penang in Malaysia, said a person at the airport awaiting an arriving friend.

A Phuketwan reporter at the Phuket airport said there were only a few people at the airport at 11pm. Most departing passengers appear to have been told that flights have been delayed.

Scores of takeoffs and landings are expected to be delayed or diverted over the next few hours.

The single-runway Phuket airport is at peak capacity at this time of the year - the tourist ''high'' season'' - with an average of more than 180 takeoffs and landings each day.

The present airport was built to handle 6.5 million passengers. However, the airport is now operating well beyond capacity with 9.4 million passengers expected when 2012 ends.

Construction has just begun on an expansion that will take its capacity to 12.5 million passengers.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I was in a plane waiting for takeoff to Bangkok from Phuket and we was told different... This is what the pilot told us:
A plane from airberlin had some problems and needed to emergency land in Phuket. When the plane landed one engine caught fire and because of the fire one tire melted into the runway. No people was hurt and that's the most important... We now sit in airport and the latest news is that our plane is rescheduled for takeoff 3.30. There is many angry people in the airport now, strange people don't have understanding for that accident can happen and at least be happy the no one was hurt.
Anyway.. We hope to fly later in the night :-)

Posted by Dino on December 20, 2012 23:38


So much Money being spent on Upgrading the Phuket Airport, I hope they going to build a second Runway to avoid this happening in the future.

Posted by gregg P Cornell on December 21, 2012 06:32


"emergency landing on Phuket was carried out with [...]a full load of fuel."
Really? Isn't it standard procedure, to dump 'some' tons of kerosene? In special short after the start? The Maximum Landing Weight is far below the MATOW. Where was this 'expert' found?

''I said that an expert was a fella who was afraid to learn anything new because then he wouldn't be an expert any more.''

Harry S. Truman

Posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2012 08:18

Editor Comment:

Our experts aren't as conceited as yours appear to be, anonymous. Perhaps you missed the ''may have'' in the sentence. There will be discussion until Air Berlin clarifies precisely what happened.

We can only imagine what Truman would have said about commenters who know it all just by guessing but H. L. Mencken probably described most of them when he said: ''A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.''


Sounds like a compressor stall. It usually emits loud bangs and flames can be seen coming out from the engines.

Looks and sounds more dramatic than it is. A330 can fly and land safely with just 1 engine too, just like every other ETOPS certified twin.

The incident report does not mention anything about an engine fire warning or fire suppressent bottles being discharged (engines usually have 2 built-in). It's early days but it sounds like it would not be categorized as an engine fire.

You can land "overweight" and as long as certain G-loads are not exceeded during the landing, no major inspections are necessary. Aircraft have sensors for this and these readings are checked after an overweight landing.

Not all aircraft are fitted with fuel dumping systems but most widebodies are. We don't know how much overweight it was and what the situation in the cockpit was but I'm sure the crew had valid reasons for their decision.

Everyone is back safely.

Having one engine out significantly reduces the efficience of thrust reverser breaking and together with the added weight probably led to tires bursting on landing.

It seems that Etihad EY403/21DEC(A6-ETI)BKK-AUH is planned to reroute via HKT to collect the stranded passengers.

You can find the incident report here

Posted by Andrew on December 21, 2012 09:59

Monday July 15, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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