A Masbate-bound Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express aircraft was forced Tuesday morning to turn back to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after one of its tires got detached on takeoff.
The pilot apparently was unaware his plane was missing a wheel until a Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) safety patrol unit stumbled onto an aircraft tire on the runway.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), PAL Express flight 2P 2021 was forced to return to the NAIA several minutes after it took off.
CAAP said that despite missing a wheel, the aircraft, which had 32 passengers bound for the Moises R. Espinosa Airport in Masbate City, safely landed at 7:19 a.m. on runway 06/24.
A report from the MIAA said that just as the PAL Express flight took off around 7 a.m., a safety patrol unit found an aircraft tire on runway 13/31.
NAIA has two perpendicular runways: primary runway 06/24; and secondary runway 13/31.
The safety patrol officers immediately informed the Airport Ground Operations and Safety Division of their find. The pilot was informed of the detached tire from its main landing gear, prompting him to head back to the NAIA to ensure the safety of his passengers.
The MIAA said that after the plane landed safely, the Masbate-bound passengers were transferred to a different PAL Express flight, which left the NAIA Terminal 3 at around 10 am.