Disaster Averted at Shanghai Airport Thanks to Fast-Acting Pilot
Calamity was averted earlier this week at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, after a quick-thinking, eagle-eyed Delta Airlines pilot noticed another plane had entered the runway during takeoff. With the nose of the Delta Airlines’ plane already off the ground, the pilot was able to successfully abort the high-speed takeoff and safely return everyone onboard the Airbus A350 to the airport terminal, according to Shine.
The shocking incident occurred on Tuesday, November 13, when a Japan Airlines plane, a Boeing 787, intruded into the end of the runway 34L, which was being used by Delta Airlines flight 582 from Shanghai to Detroit.
As you can probably surmise, hitting the brakes on a plane that is barreling full speed down the runway is not an ideal situation. As a result, the aircraft’s tires burst, according to Daily Mail, and emergency responders were dispatched to spray water on the landing gear to prevent the outbreak of what could have been a catastrophic fire.
The aborted flight, which was originally scheduled to depart at 11.40am, was canceled in the wake of the incident and passengers were given the option of taking another flight, DL9924, the following day or choosing another route to Detroit, according to Shine.
The Airbus A350 was taken in for inspection and the tires of the aircraft were replaced. The incident is now being investigated by China’s Civil Aviation Administration.
According to an anonymous industry insider who spoke with Shine, the Japan Airlines’ plane was reportedly told to wait on the R6 taxiway. The Japan Airlines’ crew then asked if they could cross runway 34L, but seemingly did not wait for a response. Air traffic control staff were unable to stop the Boeing 787 before the incursion occurred.
Shockingly, this is not the first time Japan Airlines’ staff have disregarded or failed to heed instructions from Pudong Airport’s air traffic controllers. The East China Civil Aviation Administration’s website notes the Japan Airlines’ Boeing 787 aircrew failed to obey instructions at Pudong Airport a whopping five times between May and September of last year, according to Shine.