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Plane aborts landing as everyone in control tower asleep

August 21, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A passenger plane had begun a night-time descent when it was forced to abort the landing because air traffic controllers had all dozed off, an investigation report has found.

The incident, which took place in July in the middle of the night (about 2.30am) – happened in China’s Wuhan province and involved a China Eastern flight.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has released a flight recorder transcript showing that the flight crew made repeated attempts to contact the duty flight controllers at Wuhan Tianhe Airport. They spoke twice in English and once in Chinese – but the calls went unanswered because those in the control tower were all soundly asleep.

As a result, the flight crew had to make the plane circle the airport for about 10 minutes before landing, the report said.

It was is the third mishap in two months involving the Chinese carrier, Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

On 17 July 2014, a China Eastern airplane landed off the runway in the southwest city of Nanning, Three days later, another China Eastern plane veered off the runway shortly after touching down in a rainstorm at Changzhi airport in Shanxi province.

But the latest incident reflects no discredit on China Eastern – only on the drowsy air traffic controllers.

Written by Peter Needham

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