LONDON – The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) of New Zealand issued a statement on 28 January 2023 confirming it had opened an inquiry into an incident at Auckland Airport on Friday 27 January 2023.
The Commission will investigate the incident which saw an Air New Zealand Boeing 777 lose directional control after landing at Auckland Airport.
In the statement, The TAIC Chief Investigator of Accidents, Naveen Kozhuppakalam was quoted as saying “[the aircraft] shortly after touchdown, the aircraft briefly lost directional control and the aircraft veered away from the runway centreline.”
“The pilot regained control, completed the landing, and taxied the aircraft to the airport terminal. There was damage reported to six runway edge lights and to the aircraft’s undercarriage assembly, including deflation of one tyre. We’ve received no reports of injuries to passengers or crew.”
The event is reported amidst torrential rain and widespread flooding in Auckland and local areas. It was also reported that 75% of its usual summer rainfall was experienced in just 15 hours.
The weather resulted in flight delays and cancellations to/from Auckland. The TAIC stated that the aircraft had “landed at Auckland International Airport during wind gusts and very heavy rain.”
As with all aviation safety investigations, the TAIC states it opens “an inquiry when it believes the circumstances of an accident or incident have – or are likely to have – significant implications for transport safety”,
“Or when the inquiry may allow the Commission to make findings or recommendations to improve transport safety.”
According to data available from flightradar24.com and Cirium, the aircraft involved, ZK-OKN, was operating between Melbourne, Australia to Auckland, NZ where the incident occurred.
It was delivered to Air New Zealand in February 2011 and, during the pandemic, was parked until it returned to service in May 2022.
Auckland airport update
Following the closure of Auckland airport due to severe weather and torrential flooding which followed shortly after the landing of the New Zealand Boeing 777, several passengers still remain stranded.
As the airport continues to clear the backlog of passengers who suffered subsequent flight disruptions, over 40 passengers still remain stranded at the international terminal.
According to New Zealand news source stuff.co.nz, the stranded passengers were provided with stretches and blankets as they waited for the resumption of flights in the terminal.
AviationSource recently reported the news that Air New Zealand was working to repatriate citizens who were stranded overseas as a result of the airport closure.