On September the 27th, Typhoon Megi struck Taiwan and caused most flights in and out of Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) and Songshan (TSA) airports to be cancelled. Taiwanese EVA Air, on the other hand, decided to brave the storm. On that day, EVA Air had 45 flights scheduled to land at Taipei, 30 of which were able to successfully land (including those that diverted and refuelled before carrying on to Taipei the same day). Winds were reported to be at around 30 knots gusting to 41, with a maximum of 50 knots gusting to more than 70. While there are no real headwind limits for landing, typical crosswind limits are around 35 knots. Passengers on board the EVA Air flights experienced really bad turbulence, with some of the reportedly having used their phones to type their wills. Not sure if this is true or just a really big hyperbole, but it goes to show how bad it must’ve been and also how scared people generally are of flying.

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EVA Air A321 seen here departing Hong Kong International. EVA operates 9 flights daily into Hong Kong from Taipei Taoyuan International.

As a result of EVA Air’s risky operations during Typhoon Megi, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Taiwan announced that they would be launching a probe into EVA’s dispatch procedures, fuel planning, safety regulations, and alternate airport planning. The fact that the probe was announced publicly means that it’s a big deal for EVA, as such things usually have a pretty big impact on airlines. Though EVA Air was not in violation of any law, they were operating well outside the norm and took unnecessary risks that put passenger safety in danger. I don’t think the probe will uncover anything major, and I see it ending with nothing more than a letter warning to EVA’s management.

Read more about the story here: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/taiwan-to-probe-eva-air-for-landing-planes-at-taipei-airport-during-typhoon-megi