CEBU Pacific Airways has had three accidents within eight days this month, two of which involved its aging DC-9 aircraft.
The last accident happened Monday to Cebu Pacific Flight 5J-651 when the tail cone of the plane was detached from its body and smashed into the runway upon landing at the Tacloban airport at about 7 a.m.
The tail cone holds the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit, the generator that powers the plane while on ground.
There were no reported injuries among the 58 passengers aboard, but the Air Transportation Office said passengers had panicked.
On November 6, a Cebu Pacific aircraft blocked access to the Iloilo airport for four hours when its pilot failed to execute a turn because the plane was immobilized by a steering wheel that was locked in place, seemingly by itself.
Some 30 of the 40 passengers of the Manila-bound Cebu Pacific flight 5J-462 had to be transferred to other flights out of Iloilo. The ATO issued a notice to airmen to avoid the Iloilo airport while the plane was being extracted from the ramp.
On November 1, the Manila-bound Cebu Pacific flight 5J-556 was readying for takeoff from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport when the air starter unit of the Boeing 757 aircraft conked out.
The incident forced the pilot to return the plane to the terminal for repair.
The plane took off after a five-hour delay but most of the passengers had by then been endorsed to other airlines.
Transport officials insist that traveling by air is still the safest mode of transportation, although Cebu Pacific has had its share of accidents.
The most tragic was in 1998 when a Cebu Pacific DC-9 aircraft smashed into a mountain in Cagayan de Oro killing 104 passengers.