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Vietnam’s VietJet pilots suspended after landing on wrong runway

Friday, October 24, 2014, 10:55 GMT+7

Two pilots for the low-cost Vietnamese airline VietJet Air have been suspended after they landed on the wrong end of the runway at an airport in the coastal province of Khanh Hoa a week ago, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said Thursday.

The pilots, both Filipino nationals, managed to land VietJet Air flight VJ8856, which departed from Ho Chi Minh City, at Cam Ranh International Airport on October 16 safely, but the airplane landed on a different end of the runway than what had been ordered by the air traffic controllers, CAAV chief Lai Xuan Thanh told reporters.

The aircrew landed at runway end 20, instead of 02, as directed by air traffic controllers.

“Although this posed no direct threat to aviation safety, it is a dangerous mistake,” Thanh said, adding the pilots thus must be suspended and that CAAV is investigating the case.

Initial investigation results show that the pilots confirmed to the air traffic controllers that they were to land at runway end 02.

But it remains unclear why they did not actually do so, Thanh admitted.

A VietJet Air spokesperson confirmed the wrong-runway landing to the media on Thursday, adding this is “a personal mistake.”

The airline also suspended the aircrew of flight VJ8856 to “ensure safety for its operations,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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