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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Haneda Airport: Graphics Depict the Fiery Plane Crash – Unfolding the Sequence of Events

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 Haneda Airport Authorities are launching an inquiry into a heartbreaking incident that unfolded at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday, involving a collision between a Japan Airlines passenger jet and a Japan Coast Guard plane. The collision resulted in the loss of five lives.

Casualties and Evacuation

Five out of six crew members on the Coast Guard plane tragically lost their lives, while all 379 passengers and crew on the Japan Airlines Flight JAL-516, an Airbus A350-900, successfully evacuated to safety. Minor injuries were reported for fourteen passengers, and the Coast Guard pilot suffered severe injuries.

Sequence of Events: Haneda Airport

The accident occurred as the Airbus A350-900 was making a routine landing on Runway C at approximately 5:47 p.m. local time. The collision happened shortly after landing when the jet struck the waiting Coast Guard plane, a turboprop De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8.

Fire and Evacuation

The jet caught fire, prompting passengers to use evacuation slides to quickly exit before the flames engulfed the aircraft. Challenges in accessing certain exits led passengers to evacuate from the front of the jet.

Investigative Challenges

Challenges arise for investigators due to the absence of a modern ADS-B transponder on the Coast Guard plane. ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, provides crucial information about an aircraft’s position, altitude, and ground speed.

Detection Difficulties

Speculation suggests that the smaller size and wingspan of the Coast Guard plane, combined with the collision occurring after dark, may have contributed to the difficulty of detection.

Firefighting Efforts

Over 100 firefighting vehicles spent six hours extinguishing the blaze. The Coast Guard plane, destined to deliver relief supplies to Niigata after a recent earthquake, had a tragic mission. Meanwhile, the JAL flight was arriving from New Chitose Airport in Sapporo.

Manufacturer’s Involvement

Airbus, the manufacturer of the A350-900 involved, is sending specialists to assist in the crash investigation. The aircraft was delivered to Japan Airlines in 2021.

Industry Safety Trends: Haneda Airport

While fatal accidents in the aviation industry have become less common, the International Air Transport Association notes five accidents with deaths among passengers and crew in 2022, a decrease from seven such incidents in 2021.

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