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Bad weather causes landing delay

Thursday December 13, 2018 Written by Published in Local

Low cloud, torrential rain and wind were to blame for the delayed landing of an Air New Zealand Boeing 772 at Rarotonga International Airport on Sunday.


The aircraft, which was to have arrived at 2pm, did not touch down till 3.35pm.

An Airport Authority spokesman said the aircraft had flown a holding pattern until the weather finally cleared sufficiently for a safe landing.

The aircraft, which was originally scheduled to depart at 3.05pm, finally left Rarotonga at 5.10pm.

CINews spoke to several passengers and one said she was happy and relieved to be safely on the ground after “just flying around” for so long.

“We thought we were going to have to go to Tahiti.”

A similar incident occurred last month when an Air New Zealand jet abandoned two attempted touchdowns before finally landing.

At the time, an Airport Authority spokesman said the missed approaches had been due to a deterioration in the weather conditions, which were at, or below, the minimal level required for an instrument landing system approach.

A new state-of-the-art instrument landing system (ILS) had just been installed at the airport but the spokesman said regardless of the new equipment, there were rules that pilots must adhere to.

“If an aircraft’s pilot cannot see the runway in those conditions before a certain distance whilst on approach, the normal procedure is to carry out a missed approach and hold until weather improves in order to make another approach.”

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