An ATR plane of Cebu Pacific bound for Caticlan was forced to return to Manila on the morning of January 8 with one engine out.
Initial reports said the Boracay-bound plane had just departed Manila at around 10:10 a.m. when pilot in command Capt. Joseph Patrick Bertulfo informed the Manila Control Tower that one of its engines was out and requested priority landing.
Fire and rescue trucks of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) were immediately prepositioned along the runway.
The plane, carrying 68 passengers and 4 crew members, landed safely at around 10:48 a.m.
No passengers were harmed and no flights were disrupted due to the incident.
Given how Filipino pilots manage air crises efficiently, we are reminded of one incident, involving a Philippine Airlines plane, but crippled with a bomb. This was Flight 434, bombed by the infamous and would-be pope killer Ramzi Yousef.
Excluding a passenger sitting on top of the bomb, everybody else got away with their lives with some injuries.
Another, and more recent one is from again, Philippine Airlines, that made an emergency landing upon reporting landing gear failure, later discovered to be caused by blown landing tires. Despite the tension, the aircraft landed safely, to the credit of the Filipino pilots on board.
Despite decades of having accidents in the past, aviation safety improved in the past decade resulting in far less incidents and fatalities, particularly for passenger airplanes.