Investigation Begins in Haneda Airport Collision

Haneda Airport Collision

The investigation work has begun looking into the devastating collision at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport involving a Japan Airlines Airbus A350-900 and a Japanese Coast Guard De Havilland Canada-8-Q300, also referred to as the MA722 Mizunagi-1. This tragic incident resulted in the loss of five lives onboard the Coast Guard aircraft, with Japanese authorities now deeply involved in investigating the circumstances that led to the fatal event.

An aerial view shows burnt Japan Coast Guard aircraft after a collision with Japan Airlines’ (JAL) Airbus A350 plane at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Japan January 3, 2024
Photo: Reuters/KYODO

Japanese authorities, including the Japan Safety Transport Board (JTSB) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, have initiated a comprehensive investigation into the incident, focusing on possible causes such as runway incursion and professional negligence. Transcripts released from Air Traffic Control (ATC) indicate a potential miscommunication or misunderstanding, with the Japan Airlines aircraft cleared to land while the Coast Guard aircraft was not.

Transcripts released from Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Minister Tetsuo Saito, the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has assured that his ministry will provide all necessary cooperation and objective material to ensure a thorough investigation and to implement safety measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. With the involvement of France’s BEA and Airbus, the inquiry aims to uncover the details and factors contributing to this tragic accident.

Video via HavaSosyalMedya®

In the wake of the collision, Airbus released a statement providing specific details about the A350-900 involved in the incident. The aircraft, with manufacturer serial number (MSN) 538, was delivered to Japan Airlines from the production line on 10 November 2021. Equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines, this particular A350-900 represents a relatively new addition to Japan Airlines’ fleet. Airbus has assured ongoing support and stated that further updates will be provided as soon as consolidated information is available and the manufacturer is authorized to release them.

The BEA, France’s authority on civil aviation safety, has also confirmed its participation in the investigation. The agency plans to send four investigators to Japan, accompanied by five technical advisors from Airbus, to assist the JTSB with its inquiry. This international collaboration highlights the seriousness of the incident and the commitment to uncovering the facts and contributing factors that led to the tragic collision.

Airbus A350 Evacuation and Airline’s Response

In the aftermath of the collision, all passengers and crew aboard the Japan Airlines Airbus A350-900 were safely evacuated before the aircraft was engulfed in flames. This successful evacuation underlines the critical importance of emergency preparedness and the effectiveness of the crew’s response in such dire situations. Japan Airlines has issued a heartfelt apology for the distress caused to passengers, families, and all those affected and has committed to full cooperation with the ongoing investigation.

In a gesture of goodwill and support for its passengers, Japan Airlines has announced the option for passengers to make booking changes or request ticket refunds without any additional fees for flights up to March 31, 2024. This offer is a part of the airline’s effort to alleviate the distress and inconvenience caused by the incident.

Thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the five Coast Guard crew members who died in the collision.

SOURCE: Simple Flying


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