China Eastern Airlines awarded one of its pilots three-million yuan (443,832 dollars) on Thursday for his quick-thinking last month, which led to the prevention of a head-on collision with another plane and likely saved the lives of all 439 people aboard the two planes.

Chinese news reported that, as pilot He Chao was readying his Airbus A320 for takeoff from Shanghai and started to accelerate on the runway, an Airbus A330 that had just landed suddenly appeared in front him.

The pilot, rather than crash into the grounded plane, didn’t hesitate and quickly pulled upward into the air, saving the lives of the 413 passengers and 26 crew members of the two planes.

According to Chinese news, China’s Civil Aviation Administration held air traffic controllers and crew members of the landing A330 plane responsible for the incident for failing to maintain proper contact with each other.

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