by Hugh Morris, The Telegraph, May 1, 2018
An airline crew has been suspended after landing a passenger jet carrying more than 200 passengers on the wrong runway.
Vietnam Airlines Flight VN7344 from Ho Chi Minh City touched down on a runway still under construction and soon to be Nha Trang Cam Ranh International’s second landing strip. The runway is not yet connected to the airport and it remains unclear how the carrier will retrieve the stranded Airbus A321.
During landing, the aircraft’s engines sucked in “a number of foreign objects from the runway surface”, according to the Aviation Herald, and suffered minor damage.
“Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority rated the occurrence a serious incident, suspended the flight crew, and opened an investigation,” the specialist news site said.
It is believed weather and conditions were good at the time of the incident, which took place on Sunday.
Tracking data from FlightRadar24.com shows the aircraft landing parallel to Cam Ranh’s single operational runway. The second runway is scheduled to open later this year.
Telegraph Travel has contacted Vietnam Airlines for comment. The airline is the Vietnamese flag carrier, flying to 64 destinations around the world including London Heathrow. It was founded in 1956.
Misidentifying runways is not unheard of in aviation, with the global governing body, the ICAO, issuing guidelines on how runways not in use should be painted with a large X to avoid confusion.
In 2014, a Lufthansa aircraft flying from Frankfurt to Katowice in Poland was cleared to land on runway 27 but instead touched down on a parallel strip adjacent to the runway.
In 2000 a Singapore Airlines 747 attempted to take off on the wrong runway during a typhoon at Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan only to crash into construction equipment, killing 81 of the 179 on-board.