RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Dec. 30) - Last Saturday's nasty weather caused some surface flooding around some areas on Rarotonga and may have had played a role in a jet returning after take off.

A passenger on the Aloha Airlines flight out of Rarotonga on Dec. 28 relayed a report to a friend, saying that he felt a thump as the jet took off from the airport around 1 p.m.

It is understood the aircraft ascended sharply straight after take off and that the tail end may have come into contact with the tarmac.

The aircraft then circled above the airport for some time before landing at Rarotonga airport just before 2 p.m. All passengers disembarked from the aircraft and sat around in the terminal while the jet was being checked out by an airline engineer who was on the flight.

Cook Islands News was yesterday unable to confirm with the airline’s representative what caused the aircraft to land again after taking off.

Last Saturday's wet weather forced the cancellation of the last day of the Cook Islands Masters golf tournament, as well as the visit of the cruise ship Tahitian Princess which was on its maiden voyage. Around 300 passengers were expected to come ashore for tours and excursions.

The rain caused some surface flooding on the back roads in Ruatonga and Tupapa, however there were no reports of damage. The Avarua roundabout area on the main road was also reportedly full of water during the heavy falls experienced between 7.30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

January 6, 2003

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