News Plane incidents — 13 November 2017

A SriLankan Airlines flight (UL 829) doing its finals to land at the Kunming International Airport in China was forced to abort after the flaps malfunctioned.

After carrying out emergency drills, the Airbus A 320 pilot later made an emergency landing. Fire engines and rescue crew were on standby. Since then, the aircraft remained on ground until spares were flown down from a supplier in China.

It returned to Colombo only on Thursday, that too without passengers. During its onward journey, the Airbus A 320 which could carry 150 passengers had only half that number.

The flaps are located at the edge of each wing, usually between the fuselage and ailerons and have to extend outward to be put into use.

They are intended both to generate more lift at slower air speed for take-off and also more drag to slow down much faster upon landing. SriLankan authorities have decided that the Colomblo-Kunming sector should be terminated from March, next year.

Kunming, China’s southern Yunan Province’s modern capital city, is a transportation hub.

SriLankan is also to cancel flights from Colombo to the Gan Island, the southernmost Addu atoll in the Maldivian archipelago in March next year.

A report in these columns about a flight on this route by seven passengers and nine crew members drew the attention of a Government VIP.

He sought details of the flights conducted in the previous months and directed that the flight should be terminated.

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