Runway Mayhem: Collision at Haneda Airport
Haneda Airport. Alright, buckle up for the scoop! There was a serious incident at Tokyo’s Haneda airport involving two planes—a Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger jet and a coastguard aircraft. Here’s the lowdown.
So, this smaller coastguard plane and the JAL Airbus A350 had a bit of a run-in on the runway. Turns out, air traffic control had given the green light for the JAL flight to land but didn’t clear the coastguard Bombardier Dash-8 for take-off.
Transcripts Tell the Story
Newly released transcripts revealed that the JAL Airbus got the all-clear to land on runway 34R. Meanwhile, the coastguard plane was instructed to “taxi to holding point C5,” which is like a waiting zone for planes before they get the go-ahead to take off.
Here’s the kicker: Permission for take-off wasn’t given to the coastguard plane. The transcript shows the coastguard crew acknowledged the instructions to taxi to the holding point—the last thing they said before the crash.
The lone survivor among the coastguard crew—the captain—told investigators they had the go-ahead to enter the runway. However, the transcripts don’t seem to match that story.
Possible Lighting Issue
There’s some talk about the lights at the holding point not working, but experts suggest there are other visual cues like painted markings that show where aircraft should stop before hitting the runway.
The good news? All 379 folks on board the high-tech JAL Airbus made it out safely after the collision. Phew! The flight had come from Sapporo and landed at Haneda before things got intense.
The Chaos Unfolds
Reports from passengers were pretty intense. One person said they felt a jolt upon landing and saw sparks outside the window before the cabin filled with smoke and gas. People used evacuation slides to bail out, and TV footage showed fire engines and smoke engulfing the plane.
Rescue Efforts and Sad News
The coastguard plane was on a mission to help after an earthquake. But tragically, five crew members died, and the pilot was severely injured. Japan’s Prime Minister expressed his regret over the loss, praising the crew’s dedication to their duties.
Aftermath and Investigation
So yeah, it was a rough one at Haneda. The authorities are working hard to figure it out and make sure it doesn’t mess up earthquake relief efforts. Let’s hope they get to the bottom of this to prevent it from happening again.