Four Boeing 747-400 flights going out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport was cancelled after a FedEx MD-11 cargo aircraft crash at 6:49 am (7:49 Manila time) yesterday in Tokyo's Narita Airport and consequently causing the closure of one of its runway and resulting to cancellation of 38 outgoing flights.
The FedEx cargo plane smashed into the runway and burst into a ball of fire while attempting to land killing the pilot Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, and copilot Anthony Stephen Pino, 49. Aviation Accident Investigators believed that wind shear, an aviation term for sudden gust of strong wind, may have been a factor in the accident.
The airlines that were unable to leave Manila was Japan Airlines flight JL746 scheduled to depart at 9:10, while JL741 which is supposed to arrive in the afternoon failed to depart from the same airport for a return trip. Northwest flight NW002 which was scheduled to leave for Detroit via Narita at 8 am with about 400 passengers, was also cancelled.
Meanwhile, a Boeing 747 Philippine Airlines flight PR431 from Tokyo failed to arrive at 1:30 pm. Its return flight to Narita, PR432, marooned another 400 passengers at the Centennial Terminal 2.
The accident however strands thousands of passengers, half of it bound for the United States, which was left unattended at Terminals 1 and 2. Its been a practice of airlines that in the case of unforeseen event, such as the FedEx plane crash, that the carrier is not responsible for hotel accommodations of stranded passengers or to take care of their food billings, except when the reason for suspension of flight was when the airplane they were supposed to take experience technical problems.
Airline officials said they are doing their best to address the complaints of the passengers. Special flights were operated by the affected airlines today to accommodate the stranded passengers. Flights to Narita from NAIA returned to normal as of yesterday afternoon.