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Vietnam flight crew suspended after wrong-airport landing

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CCAV) has suspended four flight planners and all crew members of a no-frills flight that landed at a wrong airport last week.

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The planners and the crew of Vietjet Air flight #VJ 8575 received the suspension for failing to work in accordance with the standard flight operation process pending further investigation, according to an investigation team led by Ho Minh Tan, who is in charge of aviation safety at CAAV.

Their flight landed at an airport more than 100 kilometers away from the intended destination.

At about 5:40 pm on June 19, nearly 200 passengers who bought air tickets for a flight from Hanoi to the Central Highlands city of Da Lat went aboard Vietjet Air flight #VJ 8575.

After that, the passengers were shocked to learn the Airbus plane landed at the Cam Ranh airport near the beachside city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

It then turned out that flight #VJ 8575 had been slated to fly from the Vietnamese capital to Cam Ranh but a re-schedule was later made for it to fly to Da Lat. The pilot seemed not to be informed of this change.

Right after the incident, Vietjet Air arranged another flight to bring the passengers to Da Lat. They arrived at the Lien Khuong airport in the highland city at 9:50 pm the same day.

A Vietjet Air spokesman said in a statement on Friday that the pilot of flight #VJ 8575 had had to change course because he reckoned that the wind conditions in Da Lat were not suitable for a landing, and had asked for permission to land at the Cam Ranh airport, some 130 kilometers away, to wait for the weather to get better.

But chief investigator Tan affirmed that the pilot had not been informed of the flight plan change and thus followed the wrong course.

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