A teenage aircraft mechanic cut more than 20 wires controlling a plane's mechanics and autopilot system because he was angry, a court heard yesterday.
Tang Wing-hon, 19, had been tasked with carrying out a maintenance check on the aircraft when he allegedly cut 22 wires in four sections of the plane.
Prosecutors told Tsuen Wan Court yesterday that severing the wires would have affected the plane's autopilot system and its back spoiler.
Spoilers are plates on an aircraft's wings that help to control its descent.
The damage was inflicted some time between February 11 and March 1 while the aircraft, a Boeing 767 owned by the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, was being serviced at Chek Lap Kok airport.
The company noticed the damage before the plane was returned to action and Tang was questioned. The court heard that when he was interviewed by police, he admitted to cutting the wires, saying he had done so in anger. The reason for his anger was not mentioned in court.
Magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing said the case was "extremely serious" and involved a breach of trust.
"He was supposed to carry out the maintenance under instruction from his employer, but he acted in a contrary way," To said.
Tang entered no plea to one charge of criminal damage.
However, the magistrate noted that the charge mentioned only "intending to damage" or "being reckless".
He asked the prosecution to consider amending the charge to include "endangering the life of another".
The magistrate adjourned the case to April 23 to give the prosecution more time to prepare. He said the case would probably be dealt with by a higher court and denied Tang bail.
The plane was fully repaired before being returned to service.