civil aviation

Probe into near-crash plane incident over Big Buddha statue in Hong Kong

Authorities investigate incident in which pilot of Airbus arriving from Fujian aborted landing over Lantau Island

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2016, 9:45am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2016, 7:08pm

Hong Kong aviation authorities are investigating a near-crash incident over the Big Buddha statue on Lantau on Sunday involving an incoming Airbus A320 operated by Shenzhen Airlines.

The Aviation Herald, which specialises in civil aviation incidents, said the pilot of Flight ZH9041 from Jinjiang, Fujian province, decided for an unknown reason to abort landing and initiate a “go around”.

The pilot reportedly sought to land on the south runway at Hong Kong International Airport.

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At the same time, a plane was ascending from the south runway. Hong Kong air traffic controllers instructed the departing aircraft to stop climbing immediately, the report said.

Flight ZH9041, in the meantime, passed over the Big Buddha statue at about 3,000 feet, before climbing to safety at 6,000 feet.

The flightpath, according to

The report did not identify the departing flight.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department confirmed the incident, which, according to its records, took place at 9.52am.

Air traffic controllers gave instructions immediately and directed the plane back to the right path
Civil Aviation Department spokesman

“Flight ZH9401 told the air control controllers of the need for a go-around when it was preparing to land on the north runway,” the spokesman said in a statement. “It had departed from the normal approach flight path.”

“Air traffic controllers gave instructions immediately and directed the plane back to the right path,” he continued. “During the whole process, there was no question of a loss of separation between the flight in question and any other plane. No other planes were affected either.”

A spokesman for the Airport Authority said the plane landed safely and there was no need for emergency measures to be taken.

The department spokesman said it was asking Shenzhen Airlines to submit a report and would look into the incident.

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Former civil aviation director Peter Lok Kung-nam said the information made available was too sketchy to determine what had happened to make the pilot decide to abort landing. “But there are proper procedures to follow.”

A spokesman for Shenzhen Airlines could not be reached for comment.