Date
16 December 2017
Roy Tam Hoi-pong (in white shirt) said the Civil Aviation Department should ban the pilot of a Shenzhen Airlines flight (left) who did not follow standard procedures. Photos: Aviation Herald, Facebook
Roy Tam Hoi-pong (in white shirt) said the Civil Aviation Department should ban the pilot of a Shenzhen Airlines flight (left) who did not follow standard procedures. Photos: Aviation Herald, Facebook

CAD urged to ban Shenzhen Airlines pilot after close shave

A non-governmental organization urged the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to ban the pilot of a Shenzhen Airlines flight who was said to have nearly caused a horrific accident for failing to follow standard procedures for an aborted landing at the Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday.

Roy Tam Hoi-pong, founder and chairman of the environmental group Green Sense, also asked the government to hire overseas experts to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, in which Flight ZH-9041 flew only a few hundred meters above the Big Buddha statue on Lantau island.

The CAD has asked the mainland airline to submit a report on the incident.

In a statement, the department also said it has informed the China Civil Aviation Administration and asked the airline to send representatives to Hong Kong to explain the incident and the follow-up actions it will take.

A CAD spokesman stressed that the incident did not pose any threat to public safety and no-one was injured.

There was no risk of collision between the aircraft, an Airbus A320-200, and other aircraft or buildings, including the Big Buddha, the spokesman said, adding that the weather was fine at the time of the incident.

The department also said Hong Kong’s air traffic control (ATC) strictly complied with established procedures and rules in handling the flight.

Air traffic controllers spotted the anomaly immediately after the aircraft deviated from the “standard missed approach track”, and instructed and guided the aircraft back to the right track.

According to a report from The Aviation Herald, Flight ZH-9041, instead of turning left as standard procedures required to avoid the mountains, steered to the right and climbed into the sky.

The aircraft flew above Lantau at 3,000 feet, which was lower than the summit of Lantau Peak at 3,066 feet and only several hundred feet above the Big Buddha statue, which stands at 2,519 feet.

The minimum flight altitude in the region is said to be 4,300 feet.

Mainland flight almost hits Big Buddha after aborting HK landing (June 29, 2016)

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JP/CG

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