China Eastern pilot who avoided deadly collision given money, honors

Jane Li
A China Eastern Airlines aircraft approaches to land at Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The captain of an Airbus A320 who avoided a collision with another plane on the same runway at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport has been awarded 3 million yuan ($444,000) by his employer China Eastern Airlines.

He Chao, a veteran captain of the Shanghai-based airline, has also been rated an "advanced party member", an honor given to a select few for their achievements, news portal reported.

The plane's crew members were awarded 600,000 yuan between them, the report said.

Errors by air traffic controllers appeared to have caused the near miss between the two planes on October 11, the civil aviation authority said.

The Airbus A320 jet He was piloting was cleared for take-off from a runway when He saw an Airbus A330 taxiing across its path, according to the report.

More from the South China Morning Post :
'Near collision' at Shanghai airport: China Eastern plane takes off as another jet crosses runway
Shanghai aviation authorities question why air traffic controllers cleared two aircraft for same runway
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The captain continued with the take-off and the plane rose just above the taxiing aircraft, with some reports putting the distance between the two aircraft at just 60 feet (19 meters).

No one was injured. According to the Global Times news outlet, which cited official statistics, there were 147 passengers on the A320 when the incident happened, and 266 people on the A330.

Reports of aviation accidents have emerged repeatedly in China in recent weeks. An aircraft flew in the wrong direction after taking off from an airport in southwest China and had to be directed back on track by air traffic controllers, according to previous South China Morning Post reports.

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