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Wednesday 7 September 2022

Look out! That's a motorbike on the runway

Airline pilots have several issues that they confront on a regular basis. Shifting winds, thunderstorms, flocks of birds, heavy clouds among them.

But one obstacle they do not often have to deal with is a motorbike on the runaway when they land.

In a tragedy earlier this month an Airbus A320 belonging to TAP (Air Portugal) collided with a motorcycle shortly after landing in Conakry, in the African nation of Guinea, after a flight from Lisbon.

Both the rider and his pillion passenger died in the incident, reportedly after being sucked into the aircraft's engines.

Flight TP1492 landed at Conakry’s Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport last week and its right engine collided with the motorcycle that was crossing the runway.

The bike rider was reported to have been a security officer at the airport but it was not known what he was doing on the runway.

While the aircraft’s engine suffered significant damage, there were no reported injuries among the passengers and crew onboard, although the return flight was cancelled.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Guinea (AGAC) has commenced an investigation into the incident.

TAP said in a statement: “Passengers and crew are all fine. All safety procedures were followed, but even so, it was not possible to avoid the accident. TAP is naturally collaborating with the local authorities to investigate the circumstances."

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