1990 Guangzhou Baiyun airport collisions
|Date||2 October 1990|
|Summary||Hijacking leading to runway collision|
|Site||Former Guangzhou Baiyun
Guangzhou, China (PRC)
|Total injuries (non-fatal)||55|
|Flight origin||Xiamen Gaoqi Airport|
|Destination||Former Guangzhou Baiyun
|Operator||China Southern Airlines|
|Flight origin||Former Guangzhou Baiyun
|Destination||Shanghai Hongqiao Airport|
|Operator||China Southwest Airlines|
On 2 October 1990, a hijacked Boeing 737, operating Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301, collided with two other aircraft on the runways of the old Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, while attempting to land. The hijacked aircraft struck a parked China Southwest Airlines Boeing 707 first, inflicting only minor damage, but then collided with China Southern Airlines Flight 2812, a Boeing 757 waiting to take off, flipping onto its back. A total of 128 people were killed, including seven of nine crew members and 75 of 93 passengers on Flight 8301 and 46 of 110 passengers on Flight 2812.
The incident was the last fatal hijacking or attempted hijacking on Chinese soil until Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554 on 29 June 2012. It remains the third-deadliest air disaster in China, after China Southern Airlines Flight 3943 and China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303.
Hijacking of Flight 8301
Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301, using a Boeing 737-200, was hijacked by Jiang Xiaofeng (simplified Chinese: 蒋晓峰; traditional Chinese: 蔣曉峰; pinyin: Jiăng Xiăofēng, born 11 August 1969 in Linli County, Hunan Province) on Tuesday, 2 October 1990. Jiang, a 21-year-old purchasing agent from Hunan, People's Republic of China (PRC), was seeking political asylum in Taiwan.
Prior to the hijacking and shortly after the aircraft took off from Xiamen, Jiang approached the cockpit, holding flowers. The security guards let him in; a Time article stated that the guards probably let him through because they believed that Jiang was offering flowers to the pilots as a Moon Festival gift. The article stated that reportedly, once in the cockpit, he opened his jacket to reveal what appeared to be explosives strapped to his chest. The article added that Jiang ordered all crew members out of the cockpit, except for the pilot, Cen Longyu, whom he directed to fly to Taipei, Taiwan. The pilot did not comply, instead continuing toward the original destination of Guangzhou. Reports from the official Xinhua News Agency did not explain why the pilot did not accede to Jiang’s demand.
Communication with the flight was lost. It was finally re-established by the airport in Guangzhou, which authorized the pilot to land at any airport available, inside or outside the PRC. The pilot stated that the only other airport that the aircraft still had sufficient fuel to reach was Hong Kong. Guangzhou flight controllers agreed to allow the plane to land in Hong Kong, refuel, and proceed to Taipei. Jiang refused to allow this, and threatened to blow up the aircraft if it landed in Hong Kong. The pilot circled Guangzhou, attempting to reason with Jiang. He was eventually forced to land the plane when it ran dangerously low on fuel.
Landing and collisions
Moments before landing, Jiang managed to wrestle control of the aircraft from the pilot. The 737 landed at an excessive speed, and sideswiped a parked China Southwest Airlines Boeing 707-3J6B, slightly injuring the pilot, who was in the cockpit at the time. Still unable to stop, the out-of-control 737 collided with China Southern Airlines Flight 2812, a Boeing 757 waiting to depart to Shanghai, before flipping over onto its back and skidding to a halt.
On the Xiamen Airlines 737 Aircraft, seven of nine crew members and 75 (including 30 Taiwanese, three people from Hong Kong and one American) of 93 passengers died. On the China Southern 757 Aircraft all 12 crew members survived and 46 of 110 passengers died. Of the passengers who died in the 757, eight were from Taiwan. A total of 128 people died in the disaster, including Jiang, the hijacker of the Xiamen Airlines aircraft.
- Hijacking description for B-2510 at the Aviation Safety Network
- "Lessons Learned from Hijacking" (PDF). Flight Safety Digest. Flight Safety Foundation. December 1990. p. 13. Retrieved 23 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Archive)
- 周益 朱林 (2009-06-12). 白云机场"10·2"特大空难揭秘. 周末 (in 中文). Retrieved 2011-06-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "World Notes CHINA." TIME. Monday 15 October 1990. Retrieved on 24 November 2009.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. "Hijacking Prompts Beijing Shake-Up." The New York Times. Wednesday 10 October 1990. Section A, Page 3, New York Edition. Retrieved on November 24, 2009.
- Accident description for B-2402 at the Aviation Safety Network
- Accident description for B-2812 at the Aviation Safety Network
- WuDunn, Sheryl. "127 Killed in Jetliner Collision in China." The New York Times. Wednesday 3 October 1990. Section A, Page 3, New York Edition. Retrieved on 24 November 2009.
- FCJ Editors. "Relatives Bring Ashes Home In Sorrow, Anger" (Archive). Taiwan Journal. 15 October 1990.[dead link]
- Special Report: Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301 on AirDisaster.Com
- Flight Safety Foundation's Flight Safety Digest, December 1990—a brief about the incident is on Pages 13–14 (Archive)
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