Passengers on an Airbus aircraft have been describing their anger today after the plane’s front wheel GOT STUCK in the runway tarmac at Southend Airport.
People on board the flight reported feeling like they had ‘hit a pothole’ when the plane’s front wheel sank into a 6-inch deep hole – fortunately an identical A319 has on hand to pull the stricken aircraft to safety after a six-hour delay.
Passenger Derek Navvi said: ‘Just after we landed, we came to a complete standstill and it felt like we had just fallen into a pot hole.’
‘The captain announced that the aircraft’s thrusting engines could only be used for taking off and flying, and this meant that the plane was effectively stranded.’
‘It took six hours to rig a tow rope to another A319 so that we could be pulled back to the terminal. We were told that we couldn’t get out and walk back as other flights needed to carry on landing and taking off.’
We contacted the company who originally laid the new runway extension at Southend Airport, and Cormac McCormac of McCormac Tarmac responded to address the concerns.
Mr McCormac said: ‘When we laid the new runway extension, we were told by the council that St Laurence’s Church was too close to be able to use regular runway tarmac.’
‘Therefore, we were forced to use noise-softening tarmac to avoid any disruption to church services. Unfortunately, this sort of tarmac is soft.’
‘We also provided Air Traffic Control with a diagram showing them the harder parts of the runway where aircraft are able to touch down and roll across – this has obviously been ignored.’
‘We will be able to repair the runway within the next six weeks, but we are flat out at the moment.’