Pilot rewarded 3 million RMB for avoiding near-plane collision

The incredible moment a Chinese pilot saved the lives of 439 people in a near-miss has been recreated on video.

The captain of an Airbus A320 who avoided a collision with another plane on the same runway at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport has been awarded 3 million yuan (HK$3.45 million) by his employer China Eastern Airlines.

All of a sudden, He's aircraft encountered another Airbus A330 cutting across its path.

He Chao, the pilot in control of the plane taking off, staged an emergency take-off and was able to fly over the taxiing plane.

The near-collision occurred as He sped up to take off, narrowly evading a head-on crash.

The cabin crew was also credited for their part and were rewarded with 600,000 yuan in a ceremony this week.

The Airbus 320 Flight MU5643 to Tianjin was taking off around noon on October 11 when an Airbus 330 from Beijing landed and began taxing across the same runway. Image: news.123.comThe radar map shows how the two planes might have collided on the runway.

China's Civil Aviation Administration suggested that the control centre and the crew members of the A330, which crossed on front of Chao's plane, failed to maintain proper communication, the People's Daily Online reported.

Two air traffic controllers subsequently lost their licences following the investigation, and 13 other traffic control staff were punished for their involvement.

  • Carolyn Briggs