A Facebook post yesterday claiming that Far Eastern Air Transport Flight FE-107 bound for Tianjin had vanished in the mountainous areas of New Taipei City’s Pinglin District (坪林) was proven false by the airline, the police said.
Far Eastern Air Transport said it has contacted its lawyers and plans to file a lawsuit for slander and breeching the Civic Aviation Act (民用航空法) against the person who posted the rumor, adding that it would not settle out of court or retract the suit.
According to police, an aviation enthusiast surnamed Kung (龔) yesterday at about noon said on Facebook that Flight FE-107 was only flying 7,000 feet (2,134m) above Pinglin and had sent out a “Mayday” call before disappearing from the radar.
Kung, 16, went to Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and asked Far Eastern Air Transport ground crew whether any of its aircraft had been involved in an accident, causing the baffled staff to contact the Aviation Police Bureau (APB) to request that they look into the matter.
The airline also received calls from the media trying to confirm details, as news of an accident had been circulating on the Internet, causing the company to directly contact the pilot of the aircraft to ascertain its safety and status.
According to Article 105 of the act, spreading false information that might endanger flight safety is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to NT$1 million (US$32,121), the bureau said, adding that violation of Article 30 of the Criminal Code is also punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to NT$1,000.
Kung said he reposted the information from other sources, adding that it was why he went to Songshan airport to confirm the information and he had no intent of spreading misinformation.
The company said Kung’s explanation was unacceptable, and it would proceed with the case against him.
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