Jet landing delay draws crowd

Thursday November 01, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Spectators watch from the seawall carpark as an Air New Zealand jet touches down on its second attempt at landing at Rarotonga International Airport yesterday afternoon. The apparently shortened  distance between the people and the aircraft is the effect of zoom lens. Spectators watch from the seawall carpark as an Air New Zealand jet touches down on its second attempt at landing at Rarotonga International Airport yesterday afternoon. The apparently shortened distance between the people and the aircraft is the effect of zoom lens.

Low cloud forced an Air New Zealand jet to abort its landing at Rarotonga International Airport yesterday afternoon.

 

The jet, scheduled to land at 1.45pm, made an approach from the lagoon end of the runway and could just be sighted through the cloud when it pulled up and flew off.

Undeterred by the aircraft’s disappearance, a group of spectators stayed waiting on the seawall road pavement, with some even climbing the concrete structure in the lagoon to get a better vantage point. Passing traffic slowed to a crawl and the number of cars in the parking area grew steadily as curious passers-by stopped to see what was going on. They included some people who had earlier been waiting at the airport terminal for the jet to arrive, but had instead decided to watch the aircraft’s second attempt at landing.

Around 30 minutes later the cloud in front of the runway lifted to reveal a patch of blue sky and the jet duly touched down.

The 777-200ER has New Zealand registration but is a leased Singapore Airlines aircraft, brought into service while the airline’s fleet of Dreamliners undergoes unscheduled engine maintenance.

Problems with the Dreamliners’ Rolls Royce engines have impacted Air New Zealand’s operations for a large part of this year.

The airport was recently fitted with a state of the art instrument landing system, but no comment on the aborted landing was available from the Airport Authority yesterday.

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