The braking system of a Virgin Atlantic jet clipped the runway at Kai Tak, closing the airport for half an hour. Inbound flights were kept in the air and departures delayed from 3.55 pm to 4.25 pm yesterday while firemen inspected the Airbus A340 and the runway. A Civil Aviation Department spokesman said the stabilising beam of the plane's left-side braking system struck the runway. After firemen spotted sparks, air traffic control told the plane to stop on the taxiway. After a 30-minute inspection, the plane, the VS200 16.35 flight from London, was given the all-clear and 248 passengers, including three babies, were disembarked on the taxiway and bussed to the terminal building. The incident caused damage to the plane's braking system and caused hydraulic fluid spillage from the landing gear. Some minor damage was also caused to the surface of the runway and debris had to be swept clear. The plane was later towed from the taxiway. Civil Aviation officials denied reports of a burst tyre.