Pilots with low fuel pe­nal­ized for no ‘may­day’ call

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The pilots of a Far Eastern Air Trans­port (FAT) flight in May that was forced to re­turn to Taipei Song­shan Air­port af­ter en­coun­ter­ing bad weather in Kin­men have been dis­ci­plined for not call­ing “may­day” be­fore the land­ing de­spite be­ing low on fuel.

Ac­cord­ing to FAT, the pilots in fact made the right de­ci­sion to re­turn back to Song­shan Air­port but the sud­den change of the wind di­rec­tion led the plane to a 15-minute de­vi­a­tion and ex­tra waste of fuel.

FAT gives the pilots a de­merit on record and will boost the train­ing of fuel us­ing to its pilots.

The com­pany added that the pilots did not is­sue a call for help be­cause their plane had been given pri­or­ity to land and was in fact pre­par­ing to make a land­ing.

The Civil Aero­nau­tics Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CAA) will hold a meet­ing to de­ter­mine how to dis­ci­pline the pilots, who were grounded af­ter the in­ci­dent pend­ing ac­tion by the avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tor.

“There aren’t many pilots who are so gutsy. It was re­ally a mis­take that should not be made,” Lin Ji­unn-liang, di­rec­tor of the CAA’s Flight Stan­dards Di­vi­sion, said on Tues­day.

Lin said it was ex­tremely rare for pilots not to call “may­day” when run­ning so low on fuel.

Far Eastern Air flight FE061 took off from the Taipei air­port on May 30 at 9:54 a.m. for Kin­men, lo­cated just off main­land China’s south­east­ern coast.

On the way, it cir­cled over the Penghu Is­lands for nearly 30 min­utes at the in­struc­tion of air traf­fic con­trollers at Kin­men Air­port be­cause of bad weather there, and then had to abort an at­tempted land­ing in Kin­men be­cause of poor vis­i­bil­ity.

The pilots de­cided to re­turn to Song­shan Air­port and landed there with­out in­ci­dent.

But the air­craft was checked af­ter­wards, and Far Eastern’s ground crew found only 2,000 pounds of fuel left, far less than the 3,700-pound safety re­serve re­quired.

The amount of fuel left in the air­craft’s tank was enough for only another 20 min­utes of flight and would not have been enough to al­low it to pull out of the land­ing at Song­shan Air­port, the CAA said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.