Vietnam flight delayed as man sleeps in airplane's engine

TN News

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Vietnamese aviation authorities have concluded investigations into a case in which a man was found sleeping in an airplane's wing engine before its takeoff in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

A report Wednesday on the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) news website quoted the conclusion as saying that when Le Van Man, 30, entered the Buon Ma Thuot Airport on October 14, no security guards were on duty at the runway's north side.

Moreover, the airport's barriers had not been adequately secured, according to the conclusions.

Man, who is a member of the Thai ethnic minority, told police that he got drunk and broke the airport's barrier before climbing onto an airplane's engine to sleep.

The man was only detected by the crew of the A320 airplane of the state-owned Vietnam Airlines, when it was about to take flight for Hanoi.

Earlier, the crew saw someone enter the runway, prompting the captain to turn off the left engine, the website said. Then the person ran across the airplane's head to reach its right side, so the right engine was switched off as well, it added.  

The captain informed the airport's air traffic control station, which later contacted runway security guards, but no one answered the call.

Not until airport authority sent staff members to the runway by car, did they find Man sleeping in the engine.

According to the website, the flight was delayed for one hour and 20 minutes.


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Following the findings, the Ministry of Transport's inspectorate fined the Southern Airports Corporation's branch, which manages the airport, VND25 million (US$1,190), Tuoi Tre reported Thursday.

This was not the first time people have threatened flight safety by illegally entering one of Vietnam's airports, Nguoi Lao Dong said. This was especially a problem at smaller airports, where no advanced barriers are in place, it said.

For example, in June at Phu Quoc Airport in the resort island of Phu Quoc, a person was found crossing a runway when a Vietnam Airlines airplane was about to land, according to the source. 

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