Vietjet crew suspended for mishearing instructions

A flight crew working for local budget airline Vietjet has been suspended after its captain misheard instructions from air traffic control, forcing a Vietnam Airlines plane to take evasive action to avoid an unsafe situation.


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Two Vietjet aircraft at a local airport. The latest incident involving Vietjet forced a Vietnam Airlines plane to make two attempts at landing


An official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam told Thanh Nien newspaper that the regulator had ordered the Vietjet flight crew’s suspension pending the results of the investigation.

Initial inquiries revealed that the Vietjet flight captain, a foreigner, had misheard the instructions of the air traffic controller at Vinh International Airport in the north-central province of Nghe An, causing him to enter the runway for takeoff without approval at about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday while a Vietnam Airlines plane was preparing to land.

Due to the unsafe distance between the planes, the other aircraft was forced to abort its first landing attempt and then circle around the airport before it landed safely in the second attempt.

The Vietnam Airlines aircraft was able to touch down at 7:54 p.m., some 17 minutes behind schedule.

The Vietjet captain may pay a fine of VND15-20 million (US$645-US$860), in line with prevailing regulations.

Last December, a Vietjet plane carrying 163 passengers landed on an unauthorized runway at Cam Ranh International Airport in the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa

In the same month, a Vietjet plane en route from South Korea’s Incheon International Airport to HCMC had to make an emergency landing at a Taiwan-based airport for technical inspection following a fire warning in its cargo hold, which was later found to be a false alarm.

Last November, a Vietjet flight leaving HCMC for Buon Ma Thuot in the Central Highlands province of Daklak, with 207 passengers on board, made a crash landing at Buon Ma Thuot Airport. The nose landing gear of the aircraft lost its two front wheels during the landing. The incident prompted an emergency evacuation, which left six passengers injured.

SGT

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