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China Airlines 737-800 nearly overshoots runway at takeoff

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Published on: Nov 7, 2009 Category: Airline Videos,   Website:

Taiwan-bound China Airlines jet returns to Japan due to speedometer concerns TOKYO (AP) A China Airlines jet bound for Taiwan returned to an airport in southwestern Japan after experiencing trouble with its speed indicators, officials said Friday. There were no injuries or damage. The Boeing 737-800 left for the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, from Saga Airport on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu following repair work after a fracture was found in its fuselage last month, said Transport Official Kenji Toyama. The 70-centimeter (28-inch) fracture was found Sept. 21, weeks after a similar China Airlines aircraft exploded at another Japanese airport. The plane took off from Saga Airport on Friday afternoon but returned about 30 minutes later because there were discrepancies between the speedometers for the main pilot and the co-pilot, Toyama said, adding that the cause of fault was not immediately known. The jet was not carrying any passengers and there was no damage to the plane, he said. Toyama said the plane had been slow to take off, using the entire runway before becoming airborne. One of the eight lamps near the end of the runway was later discovered broken, although it was unclear when the damage occurred, he said. On Aug. 20, a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 that landed at Okinawa's Naha airport exploded in a fireball at a gate seconds after all 157 passengers and eight crew safely evacuated. Investigators found a bolt on the right wing slat had come loose and pierced a fuel tank, causing fuel to gush out and catch fire. The incident was a blow to the Taiwanese airline, which has been struggling to shake its reputation for having a poor safety record. Bugs clogged speed-measuring tubes of trouble-hit China Airlines jet TOKYO, Oct. 9 Kyodo - Insects were found lodged in tubes used to measure the airspeed of a China Airlines jetliner that sustained a speedometer defect last week, according to a recent inspection by the Taipei-based company. Last Friday, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft failed to take off properly and hit a runway light as it was leaving Saga airport in Saga Prefecture for Taiwan. It returned to Saga shortly after takeoff, after the pilot and copilot discovered the readings on their speedometers differed. The company inspection showed that the so-called pitot tubes installed in the nose section of the plane were clogged with bugs and apparently indicated incorrect speeds at the time of incident, leading the pilots to fail to carry out appropriate operations. According to a mechanic of a Japanese airline company, the tubes are usually covered by a lid that prevents foreign substances from entering the tubes. If the tubes become frozen or clogged, they may not be able to perform and and could cause an incident, the mechanic said. The Japanese Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry is now examining how the bugs became lodged in the tubes. Most aircraft are equipped with three metallic pitot tubes whose inside diameters are around 6 millimeters. They are designed to measure air pressure gaps among the tubes, and thus determine the plane's speed and altitude. China Airlines has completed repairs of the pitot tubes and other parts of the Boeing 737-800 and plans to have it take off again on Wednesday to return to Taiwan. The incident took place after a 77-centimeter crack was found at the bottom of the tail unit of the same airplane when it arrived at Saga airport on Sept. 21. The Boeing 737-800 is the same model as the China Airlines plane that exploded at Naha airport in Okinawa Prefecture on Aug. 20.


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