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Aussies pilots hailed as heroes for averting air disaster
HONG KONG, APR 14 (Agencies)
Published on 15 Apr. 2010 12:44 AM IST
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Two Australian pilots have been hailed as heroes after steering a packed Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 jet to safety after both its engines failed on approach to Hong Kong airport.
“It was an amazing piece of piloting in extremely testing circumstances,” one colleague of the two Australian pilots was quoted in the South China Morning Post as saying.
Cathay Pacific said in a statement that the plane — travelling with 309 passengers from Surabaya in Indonesia to Hong Kong’s international airport — lost power to its left engine yesterday.
The right engine also cut out and pilots were faced with the prospect that the jet may not make it to the runway and instead plunge into the sea, the Morning Post reported.
“One engine was shut down completely and the other was going on and off ... they effectively landed the plane on half an engine,” the colleague said.
“What they did was nothing short of heroic.”
All four tyres on the left and two on the right side of the plane deflated during landing. Passengers were rushed off the plane using the emergency inflatable sides. A Cathay Pacific statement said the tyres were designed to deflate during “high energy braking” to stop them from exploding.
Eight people were injured and were taken to hospital with Cathay Pacific staff, the statement said.
Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation department has launched an investigation and will release a report in one month.

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