Air force apologises after busted C-130 closes airport

Air force apologises after busted C-130 closes airport

An Air Force C130 transport plane blocks a runway after its brakes failed while landing at Ubon Ratchathani airport on Wednesday. (Photo from อาท 61 via Twitter posts)
An Air Force C130 transport plane blocks a runway after its brakes failed while landing at Ubon Ratchathani airport on Wednesday. (Photo from อาท 61 via Twitter posts)

The air force on Wednesday apologised to the public after one of its C-130 aircraft broke down and blocked the runway at Ubon Ratchathani international airport for several hours, causing the cancellation of flights.

AVM Prapas Sonjaidee, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) spokesman, issued an apology on behalf of the air force to parties affected by the incident. It was caused by the C-130 having problems with its brake system.

An operation to get the C-130 clear the runway was expected to be completed by 9pm on Wednesday.

About eight flights operated by five airlines scheduled to land and take off at the airport between 1.10pm and 8pm on Tuesday were cancelled as a result of the blocked runway, according to a source at the airport.

The incident began about 11.30am when the C-130 landed and its pilot applied the standard brake system which failed to slow the aircraft as expected, said AVM Prapas.

The pilot then quickly switched to using the emergency brake to prevent the aircraft from skidding off the runway and possibly hitting houses in the surrounding areas, he said.

After the pilot gained control of the aircraft and brought it to a safe stop, he discovered that its left and right main landing gear were damaged.

That made it impossible for the aircraft to proceed to the taxiway, said the spokesman.

The serious damage to the landing gear ruled out towing the aircraft from the runway as some had hoped, he said.

The RTAF was coordinating an operation to remove the C-130 aircraft from the runway so that normal air operations at the airport could resume as soon as possible, he said.

Before the incident, the C-130 was being flown to transport officers to and from Wing 21 in Ubon Ratchathani, AVM Prapas said.

Passengers seeking to travel to and from Ubon Ratchathani airport are advised to contact their airlines to check on flight status before going to the airport, said the source at Ubon Ratchathani airport, commenting on the delays.

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