JAL Plane Collision at Haneda Airport Under Investigation

Summary

  • A runway collision at Haneda Airport involving a Japan Airlines Airbus A350 and a De Havilland Dash-8 Coast Guard turboprop resulted in a fire but no passenger fatalities.
  • Five out of six Coast Guard crew lost their lives while responding to a major earthquake affecting the country’s west coast.
  • Runway collisions have become less frequent due to advances in ground tracking technology and procedures.
  • Tokyo police and the Japan Safety Transport Board are investigating the incident, alongside agencies from France and Britain where the Airbus and its engines were produced respectively.
  • The airline said all passengers and crew evacuated approximately 20 minutes post-crash, however, the plane burned for over six hours.

A frightening incident occurred at Haneda Airport when a Japan Airlines (JAL) Airbus A350 surprisingly came into flames after colliding with a De Havilland Dash-8 Coast Guard turboprop. Fortunately, all 379 passengers aboard managed to exit the aircraft safely.

Tragically, the collision claimed the lives of five Coast Guard crew members who were on a rescue mission following a significant earthquake along the west coast of the country. Experts expressed that such runway collisions or incursions have become steadily less frequent thanks to progressive ground tracking technology and enhanced procedures.

Investigations Underway

The cause of the incident currently remains unknown. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the Japan Safety Transport Board (JTSB) are carrying out investigations. Authorities in France and the UK, the manufacturing grounds of the aircraft and its engines, are also participating in the investigations. Several news outlets, including the Kyodo news agency and Asia, have flagged possible professional negligence as a contributing factor to the accident.

Former JAL pilot and aviation analyst Hiroyuki Kobayashi suspects human error. He states, “There’s a strong possibility there was a human error. Only one plane is generally allowed to enter the runway, yet, despite landing clearance, the Japan Coast Guard aircraft was on the runway.”

Airbus offered its technical advisors to assist the ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, JTSB has managed to retrieve flight and voice recorders from the crashed Coast Guard aircraft.

After the Crash

Twenty minutes post-impact, passengers and crew were successfully evacuated. However, the aircraft was consumed by the flames for more than six hours subsequently. Authorities planned to begin removing the scorched remnants of the JAL aircraft, whilst local television broadcasts police and fire department personnel inspecting the crash site.

Major incidents like this can significantly affect the aviation industry, potentially impacting global economies and influencing forex trading, particularly with stocks such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

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