Aviation disaster averted at Guangzhou's Baiyun Airport

By Matthew Bossons, March 6, 2015

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An aviation disaster was averted at Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport on March 2, according to Chinese aviation websites.

After landing, Vietnam Airlines’ Flight VN502 was given approval by air traffic control to move onto the taxi path that leads to the parking area.

According to reports, a Shangdong Airlines plane was preparing for takeoff on runway 02L, which the taxi path runs though.

The collision was narrowly avoided when the pilots of flight VN502 noticed the Shangdong Airlines plane and stopped the plane, before it crossed onto the runway.

Many of the claims related to this incident are still being verified by authorities and there does seem to be some variation between various accounts.

A Vietnam Airlines’ representative claimed the incident was avoid by the captain of Flight VN502, who stopped the plane at a “safe distance” from the runway, after noticing the Shangdong Airlines plane preparing for takeoff.

In contrast, Chinese aviation websites are calling the incident a near collision.

Both statements paint a slightly different picture (most would argue a near collision would not involve an aircraft stopped a “safe distance” from the runway, but you be the judge).

In the end the Shangdong Airlines flight was able to takeoff, while the Vietnam Airlines flight was able to park, unload passengers and eventually return to Ho Chi Minh City, according to Tuoi Tre News.

The near-disaster was likely the result of poor communication between Flight VN502 and the airport’s air traffic control center, according to a Vietnam Airlines investigation and comments from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

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