Crews move jetliner following fiery landing at MIA

Workers were preparing to move the M-82 jetliner that caught on fire after a rough landing on Tuesday at Miami International Airport.

MIAMI – Crews worked well into the night at Miami International Airport in preparation for the move of a damaged MD-82 jetliner on Friday to clear two of the four runways at the airport.

Greg Chin, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, confirmed that the plane was moved from the south runway to the diagonal runway overnight.

He said now that there is daylight, crews can work on preparing the south runway to reopen. The diagonal runway, however, still needs to overgo some additional repairs and may not reopen Friday, Chin said.

Runways 9 and 23 have been closed since Tuesday when a jetliner that was operating as RED Air Flight 203 caught on fire. The National Transportation Safety Board reported the landing gear malfunctioned.

The crews used cables and cranes to move the jetliner, which no longer had any fuel. They placed it on a flatbed to move it to another area of the airport, so federal investigators can continue their work.

NTSB personnel delivered the 32-year-old plane’s cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder on Thursday to the agency’s laboratory in Washington for examination.

Investigators are working to find the cause of the malfunction. It was a frightening experience for 130 passengers and 10 crew members who had boarded in the Dominican Republic. Seven, including a pregnant woman, were injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Commercial Airplanes are assisting with NTSB’s investigation and the Dominican Republic appointed a representative.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.