Cathay Dragon KA8348 Turned Around Mid-Flight Because Pilot Forgot His Map

On Thursday a pilot for Cathay Pacific subsidiary Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair) was flying a charter from Hong Kong to Komatsu airport in Ishikawa, Japan when he turned flight KA8348 around just over Taiwan.

An hour into the trip the captain discovered he “forgot to bring” the map for the destination airport, so they turned the aircraft around and returned to Hong Kong. The plane departed again with 155 passengers delayed 4 hours.

Since this was to be the first day of a five day trip with little to do on arrival, the tour company claims the passengers weren’t inconvenienced. Except for sitting on an aircraft for four extra hours, of course.

(HT: Cathay Dragon 666 who wonders whether the pilots told passengers the reason they were turning back to Hong Kong.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That’s rather odd. All of that time I spent as a major airline pilot, and all of the pilots had their own set of charts. In other words, if one was missing an item, the duplicate set with the other pilot, is a duplicate set. Does Dragonair only issue one set of charts per crew? Otherwise, both pilots would have been missing that specific chart. It’s a very unlikely scenario.

  2. This is surprising. I find DragonAir to be a fantastic airline. I fly it frequently from HK into various points in China. The pilots are typically Aussies or Brits and are always professional.

  3. What would Sir Adrian Swire think, as a ex employer of Swire, this be unthinkable when Sir Adrian run the Anglo Chinese empire. Since his sons had their hands on CX the airline got off track in every division unfortune timely with the rise of the Middle East and mainland Chinese carriers.. Folks there hope Sir Adrian’s newphew Barney is able stable take reins and influence to halt the company’s mis fortunes.

  4. “All of that time I spent….”

    Then you would know that you don’t carry charts for every airfield on the planet, just the destinations and alternates you regularly operate to.

    Operation to an off-network destination requires the relevant approach plates to be added to the on-board library or given to the operating crew at dispatch. Neither of these things occurred for this flight – a breakdown in procedure. No safety consequences, just an inconvenience; and the much appreciated understanding of the tour group.

  5. For the writer’s future reference, they are never called “maps” in aviation. They are “charts”.

  6. Perhaps you need to look at getting the iPad version of Jesppeson approach plates saves all the hassle you have experienced and saves a shed load of money
    Also your ops manual performance manuals as well
    I worked for a major airline then retired and did contract flying for a small operation in Africa with lots of destination and alternates never had a problem
    Well done to the crew a safe decision

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