BEIJING Aug 19 A China Eastern Airlines Corp
passenger plane that had started its
night-time descent into a Wuhan airport was forced to abort its
landing after air traffic controllers had dozed off, an
investigation report found.
The incident, which took place on July 8, is the third
mishap in two months involving the Chinese carrier.
A transcript of the flight recording released by the Civil
Aviation Administration of China on Tuesday shows that the China
Eastern flight crew made repeated attempts to contact the duty
flight controllers at Wuhan Tianhe Airport - twice in English
and once in Chinese. Those calls went unanswered.
The airplane was forced to return to 900 metres and circle
the airport for about 10 minutes before landing, the report
said. The incident occurred at between 2 to 3 a.m.
China Eastern has suffered other mishaps in recent weeks. On
July 17, 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 it touched down at Changzhi airport in
Shanxi province amid heavy rain, causing a temporary closure of
the airport. No casualties were involved in either incidents.
China Eastern and CAAC were unavailable for comment.
Chinese airlines have boasted an improved safety record in
recent years, following a crash in 2004 that killed 53 people.
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING)