A freighter plane hauling humanitarian aid for victims of the Mocoa flash flood disaster disrupted operations at Bogotá’s airport yesterday when it aborted takeoff just before 1 pm.
The aircraft, a Boeing 727-200 operated by Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas (LAS), was accelerating as normal on the ground when the pilot decided not to complete takeoff and then overshot the end of the runway by nearly 600 feet due to its speed.
There were no injuries to any of the four crew on board and no significant damage reported to the plane, which was scheduled to fly to Pasto, the capital of Nariño. But El Dorado International Airport’s 13R runway remained closed for roughly two hours following the incident and led to delays for other aircraft.
At least one Avianca flight bound for Bogotá from Medellín’s José María Córdova International Airport, which was also dealing with thunderstorms and heavy rain, was canceled and at least three others were delayed for several hours.
The runway in Bogotá reopened around 3 pm, although only 3,100 meters of the 3,500-meter runway were available, according to Aerocivil, the aviation regulator in Colombia. The agency said that it was conducting an investigation to determine why the incident occurred.
The planned flight to Pasto was carrying food intended to help those impacted by the disaster in the Putumayo capital of Mocoa, where more than 300 people were killed by flash flooding and mudslides in early April. The flight had been coordinated by Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas and the Red Cross.