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Jamaica: Plane damaged after veering off runway

June 8, 2024

CMC – American Airlines Friday confirmed that its aircraft had “briefly exited the runway” after landing at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) on Thursday night from Miami.

“American Airlines flight 850 from Miami (MIA) to Kingston, Jamaica (KIN) briefly exited the runway after landing. The aircraft taxied to the gate under its own power, and customers deplaned normally. Safety is our top priority, and we apologise to our customers for their experience,” the airline said in a brief statement.

It gave no details as to the number of passengers on the flight, but media reports Friday quoted passengers as saying that the flight had experienced significant turbulence due to weather conditions. It was initially scheduled to land at 7:50 p.m. (local time), but was delayed in Miami, resulting in a new landing time of 9:01 p.m. However, the plane did not land at NMIA until 9:32 p.m.

“As soon as we got onto the plane the pilot came on and said that they were experiencing thunderstorms over Cuba so they couldn’t fly there, and they will have to go around which would make our trip 2 hours and 12 minutes instead of the 1 and 44 minutes it was supposed to be. And then it was pure turbulence,” one passenger told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.

“When we got to Kingston now that’s where the turbulence really start! You know like when you a drive and you go over a little incline and your belly dips? A pure of that in the sky. Every time it dip another passenger kept shouting ‘Jesus, Jesus’. People were panicking,” she said.

The passenger said the pilot sought to allay the fears of the passengers by reminding them that it was just turbulence and to ensure that they were wearing their seatbelts.

The Gleaner newspaper reported that the incident left the aircraft with damage to its engines, landing lights and other components.

“Thankful that we landed safely despite significant damage to the plane…the AA flight crew was calm and professional…life has a way of reminding us that every day is a blessing,” passenger Richard Pandohie, wrote on the scial media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Both the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and American Airlines Response Teams are investigating the incident.

The aircraft involved in this particular incident is registered as N879NN.

According to Planesporters.net , N879NN is a 12.6 year old Boeing 737-800 that was delivered to the airline in November 2011.

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