Chinese pilot rewarded for life saving actions

Chinese pilot rewarded for life saving actions

A Chinese pilot who saved the lives of 439 passengers has been rewarded with a pay-day of more than half a million New Zealand dollars.

China Eastern Airlines' pilot He Chao noticed another aircraft crossing his take-off runway at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on October 11.

In an unconventional practice Mr He accelerated his aircraft to reach enough speed to safely take off and clear the crossing aircraft.

China's Civil Aviation Administration suggests the control tower staff failed to maintain control of both aircraft that led to the close call.

Investigations revealed the aircraft came within 19 metres of each other.

The aircraft that crossed the runway reportedly had just landed from Beijing and was taxiing to the terminal.

Two air traffic controllers have since lost their licences for the incident, reports say.

Mr He was awarded a total of $607,000 for his heroic actions.

Mr He's cabin crew were also rewarded more than $120,000 for their role in the incident.