Jet damages plane in Gisborne

AN AIR Air New Zealand flight to Auckland was cancelled last night after jet engines of a private plane blew a ramp off the commercial flight, which had passengers on board waiting to disembark.

A Gisborne woman said she watched in disbelief as the situation unfolded at about 5pm on the tarmac of Gisborne Airport. The return flight to Auckland was cancelled for safety reasons after the incident.

An investigation is under way involving all parties.

The Air NZ plane had just landed from Auckland and the ramp was down for the passengers to get off.

But before they did, the jet engines of the private plane started up, “just metres away”.

“Those engines should not have been started within such close proximity to another plane,” said the woman, whose mother was due to board the plane.

“If anyone had been on that ramp they would have been seriously harmed. If any staff were on the tarmac, they would have been too.”

“The ramp attached to the Air NZ plane was blown straight back towards the propeller and it looked like it damaged one of the hydraulic struts.”

The Air NZ plane door was also damaged by the pull of the ramp, she said.

“The staff and Air NZ pilot took it very seriously. The plane was inspected and a decision was made for the plane not to take off again.”

The woman said as a result of the cancellation, her mother missed her international connection to London.

Another flight landed at Gisborne Airport at 6pm but, for some reason a decision was made not to send that flight back in place of the damaged aircraft, she said.

Re-booking her mother on another international flight came at a cost of nearly $500.

“But my main issue was that there was a private jet outside the terminal — metres in front of the Air NZ plane — and seconds before the passengers were to get off, the jet engines started up for the private plane to taxi on to the runway.”

An engineer happened to be at the airport seeing off a family member. He helped to inspect the plane, she said.

“I spoke to one of the passengers who was on the plane when it happened and she said they all felt it shake with the force from the jet engines.

“This is not something you want to witness. I couldn’t believe it.”

AN AIR Air New Zealand flight to Auckland was cancelled last night after jet engines of a private plane blew a ramp off the commercial flight, which had passengers on board waiting to disembark.

A Gisborne woman said she watched in disbelief as the situation unfolded at about 5pm on the tarmac of Gisborne Airport. The return flight to Auckland was cancelled for safety reasons after the incident.

An investigation is under way involving all parties.

The Air NZ plane had just landed from Auckland and the ramp was down for the passengers to get off.

But before they did, the jet engines of the private plane started up, “just metres away”.

“Those engines should not have been started within such close proximity to another plane,” said the woman, whose mother was due to board the plane.

“If anyone had been on that ramp they would have been seriously harmed. If any staff were on the tarmac, they would have been too.”

“The ramp attached to the Air NZ plane was blown straight back towards the propeller and it looked like it damaged one of the hydraulic struts.”

The Air NZ plane door was also damaged by the pull of the ramp, she said.

“The staff and Air NZ pilot took it very seriously. The plane was inspected and a decision was made for the plane not to take off again.”

The woman said as a result of the cancellation, her mother missed her international connection to London.

Another flight landed at Gisborne Airport at 6pm but, for some reason a decision was made not to send that flight back in place of the damaged aircraft, she said.

Re-booking her mother on another international flight came at a cost of nearly $500.

“But my main issue was that there was a private jet outside the terminal — metres in front of the Air NZ plane — and seconds before the passengers were to get off, the jet engines started up for the private plane to taxi on to the runway.”

An engineer happened to be at the airport seeing off a family member. He helped to inspect the plane, she said.

“I spoke to one of the passengers who was on the plane when it happened and she said they all felt it shake with the force from the jet engines.

“This is not something you want to witness. I couldn’t believe it.”

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JUSTIN EATON, Rotorua - 7 months ago
Not so sure what was meant by "hydraulic struts"???...perhaps "canoe fairings" is their intent...they're attached to wing and flaps/ailerons and hinge when flaps/ailerons are down for take-offs and landing!?

Stephen, Auckland - 7 months ago
It is my understanding the Air NZ plane parked behind the tail of this jet and very close. The pilot of the jet could not see this and did not know how close it was. The captain asked the tower for clearance to start the engines, which was given. He asked for clearance to start the taxi, which was given by the tower, and as he powered up the accident happened. I would say the Air NZ pilot and the tower are at fault here. Just saying.

Footnote from Ed: There has been no official response yet on the possible causes of this incident. An investigation is taking place and The Herald has been advised today (February 8) that the outcome is likely to be known in 10-14 days.

Jack, Auckland - 7 months ago
Sounds like both you idiots don't have a clue what you are talking about. Hydraulic struts as in the struts that make it easier to open and close the door. And as for Stephen, if you had any idea you would know that aircraft get marshalled onto gates at most airports, so why would the Air NZ pilot, the tower or for that matter the pilot of the private jet be at fault. It's easy to finger-point and blame someone and not learn anything. But I would say that the investigation will show that it was a combination of things that contributed to the incident, and recommend changes in procedures.

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