THE embarrassing thorn in the side of China Airlines is finally being removed from public view at Kai Tak airport and will be heading for a new home in China. Nine months after flight CAL605 from Taipei ended up in Victoria Harbour, the frame of the Boeing 747-400 is again on the move. Having been released by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) from any further role in the crash inquiry, the massive hulk has been cut up by its new owner, the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO). Part of it will be used for engineer training. The hulk has been resting outside HAECO's hangar at the airport since it was plucked from the harbour. The cockpit will soon be shipped to Xiamen in Fujian province, the future base of HAECO's Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Company - a joint venture with Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines. It will be used for cockpit engineering training, said HAECO commercial director Tom Begley. ''The rest of the plane is being chopped up and all the parts that are salvageable removed,'' he said. The equipment must pass stringent checks by manufacturers and civil aviation authorities before it can be used again. All the parts will be tagged with their history. Much of the front section of the US$150 million (HK$1.16 billion) plane was unaffected by the noxious waters off the end of the Kai Tak nullah, where it rested for three weeks last November. Some of the equipment being salvaged for possible re-use includes galleys, seats and overhead lockers. China Airlines, Taiwan's national flag carrier, requested that HAECO not allow journalists to view the plane or photograph it in order to spare their blushes one last time. The plane crashed off the end of Kai Tak runway on November 4 last year during Severe Tropical Storm Ira, injuring 23 of the 296 passengers and crew. The report on the accident has not been finalised.