An Atlas Air Boeing 747-800 freighter on behalf of Cathay Pacific, registration N856GT performing freight flight CX-86 from Hong Kong (China) to Anchorage,AK (USA), was in the initial climb out of Hong Kong's runway 07R around 23:45L (15:45Z) being handed off from tower to departure when the crew initiated a premature right hand turn towards Lantau Island climbing over terrain rising up to 1500 feet MSL below safe altitude. The aircraft subsequently turned onto a heading parallel to the runway already past the island, then joined the departure route again and continued to Anchorage for a landing without further incident.
Residents on Lantau Island reported, just before midnight they were shaken out of bed by a low flying aircraft, that came very close to hit the mountains near the Discovery Bay Tunnel (DB tunnel) connecting the north and south of Lantau Island.
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.