Cathay Dragon

Japan-bound Cathay Dragon plane forced to return to Hong Kong due to missing chart

Document contained information on airport layout, arrival and departure procedures; airline and Civil Aviation Department looking into incident

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 10:45am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 11:05am

A Cathay Dragon charter plane for Komatsu, Japan had to turn around mid-flight because the pilot was missing a crucial document.

Flight KA8348, carrying 155 passengers, departed from Hong Kong International Airport at at 9.25am on June 1 and was expected to reach its destination at 2.30pm the same day.

But it had to return after the pilot realised that the required approach chart for Komatsu Airport was not available.

The plane resumed its journey later in the day, arriving in the Japanese city at 6.38pm, more than four hours later than scheduled.

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Cathay Dragon is conducting an internal investigation, a spokesman said, added that the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department had been informed.

It apologised to the passengers affected.

The Civil Aviation Department said that the flight, which left Hong Kong at 11.16am, had asked to return due to not having the chart. It landed at HKIA at 12.46pm. The department will follow up on the case.

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An image from online flight tracking service Flightradar24 showed the plane making a U-turn when it was over Yunlin county in Taiwan.

Civic Party lawmaker and licensed pilot Jeremy Tam Man-ho said this was the first time he had encountered a case like this.

He explained that the approach chart contained information such as the airport layout, and arrival and departure procedures, which pilots should be familiar with before setting out.