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Jet Aimlessly Circles Chinese Airport Because Air Traffic Controllers Fell Asleep

Posted: 08/20/2014 1:50 pm

china easternA passenger airliner attempting to land at Wuhan airport was left circling above the airport for 12 minutes because two air traffic controllers had fallen asleep.

China Eastern Airlines flight MU2528 was arriving in Wuhan from Sanya in the early morning of July 8. However, pilots aboard the Boeing 737 were forced to delay landing when it failed to receive permission from ground control. In fact, it received no contact at all.

Fortunately the controllers eventually emerged from their slumber, allowing the airliner to land safely.

A report released by the civil aviation bureau disclosed details of the incident, reports Caijing. It was released on Tuesday, and is dated July 29. It says this about the delayed landing:

…multiple attempts to contact the air traffic tower were not answered by anyone during (the plane’s) approach (to the airport) because air traffic controllers on duty had fallen asleep, and so (pilots) were not able to establish communication. Afterwards, (upon making contact with the pilots), air traffic controllers directed the plane to come around in another circuit (to make another approach).

A transcript of the radio communications showed the pilots tried several times to reach air traffic control but failed. That’s when they decided to circle the airport until contact was re-established.

Photo: China Eastern 

  • The master of none

    Must of been just after lunch.

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