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Man arrested after jumping from aircraft at Narita airport


A 33-year-old man was arrested after he opened the emergency door and jumped from a Philippine Airlines plane as it was approaching the terminal at Narita airport on Saturday.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Hirokatsu Tachihara, got out of his seat and opened the emergency exit door as Flight 434 was approaching the terminal at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Fuji TV reported.

Police said he jumped about 4 meters to the tarmac and ran for about 150 meters before he was apprehended by security guards.

The flight had just arrived from Cebu.

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Sounds like he was trying to evade customs.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They lock the toilets when on approach. Problem solved.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

is he on drugs?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why do I suspect his response to the police will run along the lines of "I was drinking heavily on the flight and don't remember doing anything"?

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Some people just can't face the fact that their holiday has come to an end. I know the feeling.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Ha ha ha! Did he actually expect to get away? What a complete idiot! I'd love to hear his reason for jumping from a moving plane.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

it's reassuring that plane doors can be opened by any nutball passenger

14 ( +19 / -5 )

"erbaviva" is he on drugs?"

He probably/perhaps/maybe-not:

Johnnied up his funds in the historic Philippines, and realized he got beat on so many levels ...and felt he had his original power back mentally once in HIS country's airspace, and, wanted to show some cultural manishism....but failed once again and got apprehended by HIS-kind, which left him at a loss for darwinian originality and his mind funds left him in utter perplexity...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

so excited to go home? me too im so excited! im missing my loved ones! :D

1 ( +4 / -3 )

it's reassuring that plane doors can be opened by any nutball passenger

For better or worse, that's sort of the idea. If no-one can open the doors in an emergency, there is really no point in having any emergency exits at all.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

it's reassuring that plane doors can be opened by any nutball passenger

If you want reassurance, remember that any sane passenger can alert other sane passengers and they can all undo belt buckles and subdue nuts who go for the emergency exit.

Safety requires vigilance. It always has, and it always will. If you expect machinery and others to keep you safe with no vigilance on your part, you have another thing coming.

That said, how often has this sort of thing happened? And how many were injured?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Is this new's worthy

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

"it's reassuring that plane doors can be opened by any nutball passenger"

this is frightening, can anyone open the emergency exit even on flight?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Probably he want to be the first one at the immigration line ... For sure he was fully intoxicated ... unfortunately he will be release because he was drunk and can not remember what he did ..!!!!!! , Japanese system

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's good those emergency exit doors don't open at altitude.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Love to read the follow-up to this story since it does not answer the "why" question of good journalism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Besides why did he do it, I want to know why no other passengers tried to stop him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Maybe he was trying to evade the new immigration policy of taking pictures of the locals? Either way, the guy is an idiot.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )


it's reassuring that plane doors can be opened by any nutball passenger

For better or worse, that's sort of the idea. If no-one can open the doors in an emergency, there is really no point in having any emergency exits at all.

Ya unless perhaps a flight attendant or Pilot or Co-Pilot authorized the opening of doors as opposed to Joe freaking Anybody/Nobody...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Based on the fact that the safety slide did not automatically deploy when he opened the door (since he fell 4m) it suggests that the plane had already pulled up to the gate an all the doors had been set to manual mode so that they could be opened normally. I wonder if they were waiting for a very long time to disembark and tempers started to fray?


I understand your concern, but if you are in an emergency you shouldn't need to rely on the pilot or flight attendant to allow you to evacuate. They could be incapacitated due to a crash landing or smoke etc (like Asiana Airlines in San Francisco). There is a risk of nutcases like this causing trouble but unfortunately it's probably the price we have to pay for safety.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He got an SMS that his nagging wife is waiting at the Arrival gate.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Or maybe he was not from Tokyo and had a connection to make to another city? We all know how punctual Japanese people are.

I'm tempted to look on Japanese news to find more details but this is one of those times when it's just better to speculate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@M3M3M3..no we shouldn't need to rely on the Pilot or trained multiple Air Attendants to know what's going on..we should rely on clueless general public to know what to do after a 2 minute safety video that nobody is watching...and leave the emergency exits at the mercy of any and all terrorist groups/disgruntled employees/and generally any deranged depresso ...Silliness,don't think so...perhaps you might have answered the question yourself as you say that they may have been in landed , taxiing and ready to open the doors mode ?!?! Cheers

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

He really, really wanted to get home fast! He couldn't wait to go through customs. Had to get home and eat instant ramen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I couldn't resist checking Japanese news. Unfortunately there were no other details about the circumstances or motive. They are reporting he is from Mito, and he is 'unemployed'.

Apparently the slide did deploy when the door was opened as it was suppose to, but for some reason he avoided the slide and just jumped directly down 4 meters. It was an Airbus A-320.


Once the plane slows down after landing and the pressure forcing them closed is reduce, the doors can be opened by anyone. Once they are opened, the emergency slide will automatically deploy. However, once the plane reaches the gate, the doors are set to what is called manual mode which simply disables the emergency slide so that people can disembark through the jetway/airbridge.

I wouldn't be too worried about terrorists opening the doors since they can only do so on the ground at slow speeds. They can't physically be opened in the air or when the plane has picked up speed on takeoff. The pressure pushing against the door and forcing it closed is simply too great for any human being to counter (1000s of lbs per sq ft).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

M3 good info,always wondered about that.Cheers

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is this new's worthy if this nutter managed to do it at 30,000 feet it certainly would be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If he didn't have mental problems.... who or what was he trying to avoid.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope we hear more about this but doubt it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm betting its a mental illness thing. I knew a policeman with no prior history who snapped and tried to open an aircraft door while it was at altitude. He was unable to and was subdued by passengers and crew.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LatpoypoyAug. 03, 2014 - 08:20PM JST

He got an SMS that his nagging wife is waiting at the Arrival gate.

I do not think there is a Japanese wife wait for her husband at the airport ... !!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

(hope we hear more about this but doubt it.) hope not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder what his reasoning was?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That takes some serious balls. Those planes are pretty high up, and I didn't know it was so easy to open the plane's door.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anything to avoid the long lines at immigration and customs....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I know Japanese passengers always rush down the aisles to be the first to get off the plane but this guy takes the cake.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Excited much can't wait

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Yes, he is from Mito, Ibaraki.

Does any body know where he is now?

Im looking for him and hopes to find him, his kids in Cebu is waiting for him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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