The story appears on

Page A3

August 31, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Life ban for pilot who ignored Mayday call

Juneyao Airlines apologized yesterday after China's civil aviation regulator revoked the license of one of its South Korean pilots.

The pilot had refused to give way to a Qatar Airways plane that was running out of fuel as both planes waited to land at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport.

"Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, it was the pilot's fault to reject the order from the air traffic control," Juneyao Airlines said on its website yesterday.

The South Korean pilot has been banned from flying an airplane as a crew member in China for life, and the co-pilot's license will be suspended for six months. Both have admitted mistakes and apologized, the Juneyao statement said.

The airline did not name the pilot.

The Shanghai-based airline said it would fire the South Korean pilot and has launched an educational campaign for all its foreign pilots about China's civil aviation regulations.

"The company accepts and will strictly carry out all the penalties from the aviation authority," the airline statement said.

The East China Regional Administration, which is under the Civil Aviation Administration of China, handed down the punishments on Monday night and deemed the incident a "serious violation of regulations."

In addition to the pilots' penalties, the airline was told to cut its capacity by 10 percent for three months. Any requests to expand its business, set up branch offices or rent or purchase aircraft temporarily will be rejected, the CAAC said.

The administration also told the airline to educate all its foreign pilots for at least 40 hours on the rules of Chinese civil aviation with the administration evaluating the results.

The CAAC said the crew of Juneyao flight HO1112 seriously violated regulations and ethics codes on August 13 when the pilot of Qatari flight QR888 from Doha sent a Mayday signal and asked to land first as its fuel was running out.

The Qatari jet, among 20 circling over Pudong International Airport due to bad weather, had made an urgent request to land at the city's other airport, Hongqiao International.

Air traffic control ordered the Juneyao plane to give way six times in seven minutes, but the pilot refused, saying the plane had little fuel left, too. Air traffic control had to rearrange landing orders to secure a safe landing of the Qatari plane.

An investigation found Juneyao's smaller Airbus A320 plane had 2.9 tons of fuel left, meaning it could have stayed in the air for 42 minutes. The Qatari Boeing 777-300 jet had 5.2 tons of fuel, enough for 18 minutes of flight, the CAAC said.

The problem partly stems from airlines' efforts to minimize the fuel they carry, said Wang Xiaoyan, a Beijing-based transport analyst.

The CAAC said that while it found no violation on the part of the Qatari pilot, the flight failed to correctly predict how much fuel was left.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend