Damaged tyre on takeoff forced a Real Tonga flight from Tongatapu to Vava’u to turn back and make an emergency landing on Friday 14.
“It is understood that on takeoff a tyre was damaged and work gets underway to determine whether or not the damage was caused by “foreign object damage” or it was a “component failure”,” Real Tonga airline CEO Tēvita Palu told Kaniva news this morning.
The national airline was responding after we reported the emergency landing last night.
Palu said work gets underway to send a “formal report” of the incident to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
He said the aircraft landed safely at the Fua’amotu airport.
He said engineers replaced the tyre and after about two hours it returned to services.
As we reported last night, noise had been heard coming from the aircraft shortly after it took off which forced it to circle the air traffic control tower to see if the radar could help identify the problem.
The aircraft finally landed without further incident and taxied to the terminal.
The emergency services at the airport were put on standby.