Emergency Landing by AirAsia

One-Two-Go jet retracted landing gear before crashing: AOT director

A Thai AirAsia plane made an emergency landing at Suvarna-bhumi Airport yesterday, 20 minutes after it took off for Chiang Rai.

After leaving the new airport at 11.35am, the pilot of flight FD3254 noticed an engine system called ADI was mal-functioning. The pilot decided to return to Suvarnabhumi and all passengers were later put on another flight.

Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Thai AirAsia, said the problem was not a big deal and the flight was only delayed 40 minutes by the incident.

Meanwhile, another injured passenger from the One-Two-Go crash in Phuket was dis-charged from hospital yesterday, Dr Prat Boonyawongwiroj, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, said.

Chawit Jitjamnong, an 11-year-old boy, was allowed to go home, while Briton Christopher Cooley was be able to breath without use of a life support system. Dutch woman Sara Whit-tington was also moved from the ICU to a normal ward, he said.

As of yesterday evening, 25 people remained in three hospitals - three of them in ICU. Nine death certificates were issued to relatives, bringing the total to 14 for the 89 who were killed.

In related news, Chaisak Angsuwan, director-general of the Civil Aviation Department said One-Two-Go Flight 0G029's pilot had retracted the landing gear when the plane was 100 feet above the ground so he could ascend, said

Chaisak, a director of Airports of Thailand (AOT), he told the AOT board yesterday the plane's wheels did not touch the runway at the time of the accident.

Despite the incident, Phuket International Airport's safety standards had been proven to be in good condition as the incident showed no failing in the airport's runway or other equipment, he claimed.

AOT acting President Kulya Pakakrong said after the meeting the board had asked its managers to do a chronology of its operations in relation to the crash. The board also asked if the AOT recorded the incident from the beginning and that details be submitted to it as a precaution for the future.

"We could install closed-circuit TVs inside and outside terminals at all airports under the AOT's supervision, but we haven't worked out the budget yet," she said.

National Legislative Assembly members yesterday also questioned the standards of the aircraft and pilots of low-cost airlines.

Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said that low-cost and mainstream airlines were subject to a similar set of rules and regulations.

Separately, the AOT board also resolved to have its legal department file a petition to the Civil Court this week against King Power International's request for compensation for inappropriate cancellation of a commercial contract.

AOT director Tortrakul Yomnak said the resolution followed a report from the Attorney General's Office on how to deal with the King Power case.

"Personally, I think we will win as King Power has committed several wrongful actions. Yet, I don't think King Power will negotiate with the current board and it is expected to lobby the new government with its representative. That would give it a say about who would become AOT directors. Still, the current board will try to solve this conflict quickly."

The board did not consider a proposal to re-open Don Mueang to international flights as it is waiting for a study from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

It also expects to consider a list of candidates to be AOT president on Sept 27.

The Nation