After previewing the pilot’s archives, VDCA confirmed Kim has a total of 680 hours of flight time experience while S. Korean media had previously accused him of having only 1 hour, which isn’t enough to make him qualified for his post.
However, in response to the media, VDCA promised to ascertain his flight time with airport authorities in Indonesia who issued his license as well as with some airlines for which he had worked before coming to Vietnam Airlines.
Thanh said Kim could be charged if he was found guilty.
In a report to VDCA, Vietnam Airlines (VNA) confirmed that Kim Tae Hun, the deputy pilot, had difficulties landing the VNA flight numbered VN970 from Ho Chi Minh City to S. Korea at the Busan airport on April 26, 2010.
The Vietnamese chief pilot Vuong Dinh Hue then had to take over the plane and landed safely.
Airport authorities in S. Korea later asked VNA to investigate the issue. VNA found that Kim Tae Hun didn’t violate any flight rule. As the deputy pilot, he was entitled to landing the airplane and in case of any problem, the chief pilot would regain control.
But VNA also asked the flight crew to prove their flight time experience. However, Kim Tae Hun asked VNA’s permission to go to Indonesia where he had worked before to complete some necessary documents.
However, he didn’t return and is now no longer working for VNA.
According to a senior official of VDCA, all foreign pilots at VNA have enough flight time experience to control airplanes. VNA is hiring around 150 foreign pilots.
According to VNA’s flight regulations, besides civil airplane driving licenses, pilots must also meet flight time experience requirements. VNA will then submit their cases to VDCA for a working license.