TONGA AIRLINE BLOWS TIRE, OVERSHOOTS RUNWAY

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 30) – Aviation authorities in Tonga are assuring the public's safety after a test flight for the country's only domestic airline overshot the runway.

Senior officials have confirmed an Air Peau o Vava'u aircraft ran off the newly lengthened airstrip at Eu'a this week.

The Tonga Broadcasting Corporation says the plane had to touch down quickly to avoid tall trees, and a subsequent tire blow-out forced it onto the grass.

The Tongan civil aviation directorate expects a full report on the incident within two weeks.

November 30, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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