China Eastern Pilot Gets $443,000 Bonus For Saving 439 Lives

an airplane on the runway
image: Aero Shots

A China Eastern plane was getting ready to take off at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on October 11, when the pilot noticed imminent danger fast approaching.

Luckily the pilot, He Chao made a quick decision which ended up saving the lives of 439 people.

Pilot He Chao noticed that another plane was coming in to land on the same runway that he was getting ready to take off from.

According to T+L.He quickly accelerated and flew right over the approaching airplane; officials later found out that the two airplanes came within 19 meters of each other“.

The close-call wasn’t pilot error, the article mentioned that it was “attributed to air traffic control miscommunications and those responsible lost their licenses“.

He Chao received a very generous gift from China Eastern for his heroic and quick thinking. He received close to $443,000! (The crew got a very nice gift of $88,827.)

Maybe Pilot He Chao will gain fame in China similar to that of Captain Sully. If so, maybe a movie will be made about what happened.

Find out more from Travel + Leisure here.

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