VietJet A321 Skids Off Ho Chi Minh Runway In Heavy Rain

A VietJet A321 skidded off the runway earlier today upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City after adverse weather conditions. The aircraft had been serving a domestic route from on a flight that lasted just under one hour. Officials have now closed the runway at Ho Chi Minh, putting both of its runways out of action.

Vietjet A321
Earlier today, a VietJet A321 skidded off the runway in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: VietJet

VietJet slips on landing

Earlier today (14th June), a VietJet A321 slipped off the runway on approach to Ho Chi Minh City at its Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). The aircraft, registered VN-A657, had left from Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) at 11:23 local time (04:23 UTC) and was due to arrive at SGN at 12:15 (05:15 UTC).

Despite making good time and landing at 12:21 (05:21 UTC), the arrival was unfortunately not as desirable as expected. Ho Chi Minh City and other nearby neighborhoods in Vietnam are experiencing their first storm of the year. With heavy rain and winds of up to 60-75km per hour, Storm Nuri makes landing slightly more challenging.

On approach to Runway 25L/07R, the aircraft slipped into the mud at the side of the runway, rupturing a tire.

All passengers safe

Thankfully, all passengers and crews were safe, and no casualties have been reported. The same can’t be said for the VietJet A321 or operations at the airport. Runway 25L/07R at Tan Son Nhat International Airport was closed for two hours following the incident. The main activity was to get the sunken jet out of the mud and tow it back to the airport apron.

However, that decision put the airport in a bit of a predicament. Currently, Tan Son Nhat International Airport’s other runway is undergoing maintenance. Runway 25R/07L was closed at the time of the incident meaning that for a short period, both runways were closed.

VN-A627
The aircraft, similar to this, was hauled out of the mud. Photo: windmemories via Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, it is now expected that the one operational runway has reopened. However, the investigation is far from over. Officials at the airport believed that despite the heavy weather conditions, the aircraft should still have been ok to land safely.

How safe is it to fly in a thunderstorm?

As in the case of VietJet’s A321, flying in thunderstorms sometimes cannot be avoided, but does that make them dangerous?

While we’ve probably all seen hair raising videos of planes trying to land amid a storm, aircraft are kitted out to manage bad weather occurrences, and crews are regularly trained. That makes flying in a thunderstorm rather safe. You can be confident that you are in capable hands.

Plane flying in heavy rain
How safe is it to fly in a thunderstorm? Photo: Getty Images

You’re likely to have sat on a plane that was struck by lightning without even noticing! And, we’ve all felt turbulence at some point or another. Even when it comes to landing, though wind conditions may not be ideal, in many cases, pilots will still be able to maneuver the plane to an appropriate landing position.

That said, some weather is just too dangerous to fly in. In that case, you can expect cancellations to keep you safe until conditions improve.

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