The pilot, Young San, 56, attempted to follow the instructions but the plane faced strong winds and it couldn't be redirected, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Officials are investigating the cause of the crash, which occurred Wednesday.
Rescue teams are also attempting to recover the victims' bodies from the Mekong River.
Torrential rain has led to a strong current in the river, which is hampering efforts to find the bodies, authorities said.
The plane, an ATR-72 twin-propeller aircraft, belonged to the state-run Lao Airline and was manufactured by a French company.
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