Even with great relief that there were no injuries on Korean Air flight 631, it is not unreasonable to ask why the incident happened in the first place, especially when other flights into Cebu were not attempting to land.
Korean Airlines Flight 631 – Why No Diversion?
A Korean Air Airbus A330 operating under KE631, took off on Sunday from Seoul Incheon (ICN) bound for Cebu City (CEB). As the aircraft approached Cebu, poor weather forced an aborted landing and go around. 17 minutes later a second landing attempt was made, resulting again in a failure and go around. 42 minutes later, a third attempt was made.
This time, the aircraft landed, but overshot runway 22, resulting in:
- collapse of the nose gear
- damage to the nose underbelly
- penetrations to the cockpit
Pictures demonstrate the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Korean Air Airbus A330-200 (HL7525, built 1998) was damaged beyond repair in an overrun landing on runway 22 at Cebu Intl Airport (RPVM), Philippines. Flight #KE631 from Seoul-ICN aborted two previous landing attempts due bad weather. More to come..https://t.co/seGVaZdOeQ pic.twitter.com/XXLHDYEZTc
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) October 23, 2022
LOOK: Korean Air flight #KE631 slid off the runway while landing at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Sunday, Oct. 23.
All 173 passengers were evacuated safely with minor injuries reported. | 📷: AFP via Alan Tangcawan pic.twitter.com/t6Gy8BVl4E
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) October 24, 2022
Amazingly, none of the 162 passengers or 11 crew members were injured. The Aviation Herald notes that the A330 overshot the runway by 1,200 feet coming to a stop at the west permitter of the airport.
Had the aircraft not stopped there, it would have plowed into a residential nature, likely resulting in substantial death and injuries.
Korean Air has promised a full investigation:
“Flight #KE631 departing from Incheon International Airport on 10/24 headed to Cebu Airport in the Philippines had an accident that diverted the runway due to worsening weather during landing at Cebu Airport. Korean Air is investigating the casualties and the exact cause of the accident. We will provide additional information regarding the confirmation.”
Korean Air CEO Woo Kee-hong emphasized:
“We remain committed to standing behind our promise of safe operations and will do our very best to institute measures to prevent its recurrence.”
That’s all well and good…
- What caused this in the first place?
- Why did the Korean Air captain think he could land when no other airline, including Philippine Airlines, felt it was safe to land?
- Was this third and final landing more an expression of exasperation than a sound decision that it was safe to land?
I look forward to the full investigation.
While I am elated that there were no injuries (beyond the aircraft itslef), it is sobering to think that this situation may have turned out very differently. There are many unanswered questions at this point, but foremost in my mind is why the landing was made in the first place.
You hate to see penetration in the cockpit
Was the CA Korean or American?
Glad there was no loss of life and no serious injuries.
The loss of any aircraft is also a loss of revenue to the air framer, engine manufacturer and other suppliers.
KAL really doesn’t have that great of a safety record over their history, do they?
This sort of thing is why I won’t fly KE. Or Asiana, for that matter. Too many incidents involving clear pilot failure.
Typos! So many typos! Please proofread your articles!
The comments are not editable. Maybe the article is.
“Had the aircraft not stopped there, it would have plowed into a residential nature”
What is a “residential nature”?
Glad nobody was injured, but obviously a really bad look for KA. I would never fly KA.
Maybe this was to get insurance money on an aging aircraft (sarcasm.) I have a flight coming up in 2023 on Korean Airlines. Fortunately it is not to Southeast Asia during the monsoon season. I’ll see how Asiana does in a few days flying through Seoul.
Impulsiveness; Doing something but not thinking about what the consequences might be. Happens all the time and in all situations. OOPS. back to simulator training!
Could he have been too short of fuel to continue holding or diverting?
First, no one hurt which is the good news!! But, how fatigued were the flight deck crew? If you look thru the flight history, many crashes were during the 2nd or 3rd attempt to land in adverse weather. This may be another example.
This is a write off of the airframe, the engines, and the damage to the landing guidance system of the airport. Self insured ain’t going to cover this.
The trauma, near death experience, been treated like a refugee with no documents and inconveniences with this incident are difficult for me to absorb. Most passengers I assumed had other plans in going to the Philippines and probably unlike mine I flew to the Philippines for my brother’s funeral. It has been 15 days since he died and my family is just waiting for me to bury him. For 3 days, I had no money, no clean clothes. We were stuck in the airport before being transferred to JP Park Resort for accommodation. Immigration , Korean Air and other agencies were doing their best to get our carryon from the airplane. I’m still in shock and afraid to sleep for fear of hearing the screams of the crew shouting in Korean. All the while, I thought they were praying and I did the same thing , I was calm and just thought out loud” not today God” not my time to die.
I’m not sure if you are the same person I talked to at JPark Hotel lobby.
This is Will from California, one of the survisors of that ill-fated flight 631.
Hope you were able to get better sleep now. I can’t forget that last minutes of shouting inside the plane, people praying and crying, while we were all in brace position.
I do sometimes having moments and from time to time having anxiety attack just thinking back of the ordeal.
Anyways, hope to communicate with the others and wondering how you guys are doing now.
I was on this same flight a few nights before this incident. The night of the crash the weather was really nasty. Heavy rains and poor visibility. I believe this captain chose the wrong runway. 22L would have been the correct runway. On the following day, I went to the Mactan airport to check on my flight home. It appears that he landed on 22R which is way to short for an A350