Newman Airport in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has been closed after a QantasLink flight slid off the runway in very bad weather.
At the time there was heavy rain and high winds.
The QantasLink Fokker 100, registered VH-NHY, is 60 meters off the runway on what is called the “runway safety area” which has become soft due to the heavy rain from Cyclone Blake.
According to a local source, Qantaslink will need to tow the plane backwards and that will require an engineer and strap kit.
However, the problem is that all roads are closed and helicopter operations are grounded.
It is understood that permission is being sought from the regulator CASA to fly a light aircraft in with the engineer and kit.
The aircraft was operating flight QF2650 and left Perth at 5.30am and arrived at Newman at 7.15am.
Flights to Newman have been forced to return to Perth.
Shire of East Pilbara president Lynne Craigie said the airport would be closed for the remainder of the day as workers moved the aircraft from the mud.
She said all passengers and crew had been safely offloaded with no injuries.
A Qantas spokesperson said: “The aircraft has come to a complete stop in what’s called the runway end safety area.
“Flights in and out of Newman have been cancelled for the rest of the day, while the aircraft is removed.
“We have commenced an internal investigation to determine how this occurred and have reported the incident to the ATSB.
“We apologise to impacted customers and are working to reaccommodate them as quickly as possible.”