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Air Pac problem strands PCC delegates

February 28, 2013 4:04 am

An engine problem grounded an Air Pacific flight stranding more than 70 delegates to the Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly in Vanuatu for five hours on Tuesday.

The Boeing 737 encountered a valve malfunction in the starboard engine enroute to Bauer Field, Vanuatu, from Nadi International Airport.

Engineers were unable to repair the fault and the airline ordered the aircraft back to Nadi.

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In Nadi passengers boarded another aircraft and were flown direct to Honiara.

Pilots told the 88 passengers that due to bad weather on the Vanuatu-Solomon Islands sector the aircraft needed to fly above the adverse conditions but the valve fault would prevent this.

Among delegates stranded in Vanuatu were Methodist Church President Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu and PCC General Secretary Reverend Francois Pihaatae.

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