The damage to the tailplane of a Vietnam Airlines aircraft was most likely caused when the tailplane hit a light pole in Tan Son Nhat Airport due to a tow car driver's mistake, an aviation official said Wednesday.
The Airbus A321 plane then took off for a 2-hour flight from Tan Son Nhat to Vinh in central Vietnam on Tuesday morning, and the damage was only discovered after it landed and was preparing for the return flight.
Ho Minh Tan, head of the Flight Safety Standard Department of the Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said initial investigation showed that a tow car driver's "unreasonable maneuver" while towing the plane may have caused its tailplane to hit the lamp post.
A dent seen in a light pole in Tan Son Nhat Airport, which is likely caused when it was hit by the tailplane of a Vietnam Airlines aircraft. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
Since the dented part was located at the edge and did not interfere with the movable elevator of the tailplane, the plane could still fly safely from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh, Tan said.
Further investigation is being carried out, he said.
The incident caused Vietnam Airlines to cancel the return flight from Vinh to HCMC.