Plane “gets stuck” at end of runway before take-off
Passengers waiting to take off on a holiday flight from Spain were stunned when their plane was unable to take off because it got stuck on the runway.
The unusual reason for the delay happened at Barcelona airport where the temperature was hitting 35 degrees during a Spanish heatwave.
The Vueling Airbus A320-200 was preparing to fly to Malaga and was already on the runway waiting for clearance for take-off.
When the go-ahead was given, the plane was apparently unable to move and is reported to have got stuck in a pothole.
According to Aviation Herald which quotes sources: “The aphalt covering the runway melted under the tyres causing the aircraft to sink into the runway surface.”
This theory was backed up by several postings on the social network, including from an air traffic controllers site Controladores Aéreos (@controladores) which reports airport incidents.
The site reported: “In Barcelona, traffic remains blocking track 25L, apparently after sinking in the asphalt when it was going to take off. Major delays.”
It also posted: “Traffic blocking 25L leaves track. The pothole is to be resurfaced. Forecast of operational track in one hour. #SafetyFirst.”
The incident closed the 25L runway for some time until the repairs were done and an alternative runway had to be used.
Barcelona airport is the main airport of Catalonia with more than 44 million passengers in 2016.
Although confirming there had been an incident, the Spanish airport authority did not clarify the details. In the past, there have been some grumbles about the state of the runways at such a busy airport so the emergence of potholes might not necessarily be connected to the heatwave.