Details Uncovered on JAL Airbus and Coast Guard Plane Runway Collision

Summary

The De Havilland Dash-8 turboprop and Japan Airlines Airbus A350 passenger jet were involved in a runway collision during an ongoing disaster response that left five out of six Coast Guard crew dead. The investigation is now focused on the actions of the surviving pilot whose orders, according to control tower transcripts, seem to have been flouted. The runway crash at Haneda airport occurred amid heightened airport traffic and disaster response efforts following a 7.6-measuring earthquake that struck Japan, causing massive devastation.

Investigation Into Runway Collision

An unnamed official from the investigation team reveals that the Coast Guard plane’s movements prior to the fatal collision are under audit. The surviving Coast Guard pilot is facing investigation following the release of control tower transcripts indicating that he was instructed to enter a holding area near the runway prior to the incident.

The Pilot’s Statement and Circumstances Surrounding the Crash

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard led support to the pilot’s claim that he’d secured permission to enter the same runway where the JAL plane was descending, despite this not being apparent in the transcripts. The official could not confirm whether the crash was influenced by the volume of airport traffic or the emergency response efforts to the natural disaster, seeing as it happened around the same time.

Multiple Factors to Airplane Accidents

Aviation experts concur that airplane accidents generally involve several factors and the breakdown of multiple safety measures. The Coast Guard plane had already made two roundtrips from Haneda to the earthquake-hit zone and back, completed a 3.5-hour long aerial survey of the area after the earthquake hit, and carried relief workers back from the site just before the collision.

Busy Day at the Airport

Shigenori Hiraoka, head of the Civil Aviation Bureau, said Haneda airport was packed on the day of the accident, a public holiday. Notably, the Coast Guard was also operating on overdrive as thousands of rescue workers were deployed in response to the earthquake.

The Coast Guard’s Preparedness Amid Disaster Response

Captain Genki Miyamoto and his team were preparing the plane to transport food and water supplies back to the disaster-stricken area on their next mission. The plane had arrived back at Haneda from its second operation around 2:30 a.m. and left the hanger again approximately at 4:45 p.m. for the earthquake zone. The collision happened about an hour later.

Plane Crash Amid Busy Schedules

Despite normally operating during mid-morning hours to avoid crowded runways, Miyamoto and his crew took off at a time deemed “very busy” by the official. The pilot had just returned from a seven-hour mission to Okinotori island, and the plan for the next day hadn’t been mapped out beforehand.

Mission Impact and Losses

The runway collision resulted in severe burns to the pilot, rendering him unavailable for comments. He’d been a captain for nearly five years with 3,641 flight hours under his belt. The aircraft involved in the crash, known as JA722A, was the lone survivor of a 2011 tsunami that hit northeast Japan.

This tragic incident highlights how sudden unexpected events can have a profound impact on airport operations, potentially influencing decisions in aviation sector investments or forex trading where relevant.

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