Vietnamese aviation authorities have suspended a baggage conveyor truck driver at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport for crashing into a China Airlines airplane about to take off last Thursday, causing a damage of US$1 million.
Truong Van Toan will lose his license for two years after an investigation found the crash was entirely his fault.
He was driving the truck to load baggage on the airplane when, as an old joke goes, he mistook the gas for the brake and crashed into the rear end of the Airbus 330, causing a 20 cm by 100 cm (7.8 in by 39 in) dent in its fuselage.
A statement from the Southern Airports Authority said the act had “caused a serious threat to aviation safety.”
It said Toan was normal at the time and was not under the influence of alcohol or affected by any work-related pressure.
Tan Son Nhat officials are still discussing the damage with the airline, which has estimated it at around $1 million.
China Airlines said more than 300 passengers had to wait for 15 hours before they could board another flight to Taiwan at 1:40 a.m. Friday.
It had to fly in six more engineers from Taiwan to join the three based at Tan Son Nhat to repair the plane under instructions from Airbus experts in France, the carrier said.
A Thanh Nien source said the airline will fly the plane back empty to Taiwan for further checks and repairs.