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Fire destroys JAL plane after collision with coast guard aircraft at Haneda; 5 dead

74 Comments
By Daniel Leussink and Satoshi Sugiyama

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© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

74 Comments
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What a dreadful, dreadful start to the New Year these last two days have been… glad everyone made it out alive!

25 ( +27 / -2 )

All aboard are safe is the good news. But wow how a fire can spread throughout the fusalage so quickly. Sure would like to hear an explanation from the JCG though.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

A very serious accident and the fire spread quickly. Runways are closed.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Glad to hear all the passengers made it out safe.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I'm worried about the people on the Japan Coast Guard aircraft. I hope they are OK. Good that the JAL passengers are OK.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Glad everyone got off the plane safely -- saw the video footage and thought the worst. Who in the heck was in charge??

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

But wow how a fire can spread throughout the fusalage so quickly.

My years of watching episodes of "Mayday" allow me to tell you that a combination of jet fuel and wind make a rapid spread of flames highly likely. Glad also that the passengers were able to get out okay. Sounds like a mistake by either the Coast Guard plane's pilot or the air traffic controller. According to TV news, the airliner was on the ground when it was hit.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Well done to the staff for getting everyone off the JAL plane safely. Only news so far about one of the six crew of the coastguard plane being safe. Fingers crossed for the others.

Very shocking images, and bad timing coming so soon after the Hokuriku earthquake. If anyone remembers the Great Hanshin earthquake, it was big news for a month, and then the sarin attack on the subway happened. After that, the news was all about Aum Shinrikyo and the earthquake was barely mentioned.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Hope everyone is safe.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Hard to believe anyone walked off that plane uninjured- let alone everyone. Very, very fortunate.

Wishing all the best to the 5 missing crew of the Coast Guard aircraft. Just awful news.

Just hoping Japan's luck in 2024 will soon change. So far it has been a real annus horribilis.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

News is just coming in that the Coast Guard plane was en route to deliver vital earthquake aid.

Even more tragic if that's possible.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Such a Sad and terrible accident!!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Great that everyone is safe. I suppose we should all count our blessings, but everyone's luggage is probably toast.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Looking at video of the accident it is quite miraculous that all the passengers and crew of the JAL flight could evacuate to safety.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@Meiyouwenti

The fact that no one on board the JAL plane was killed or injured is proof that Japan Inc’s qualify and safety is still alive and well.

The fact those plane crash into each other? Is that acceptable? Being fireball while passenger are still inside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOC_Fe9-ECQ

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

There I was, out shopping for a new washing machine and TV and this airplane is on the screen on fire. I had to stop to see if it was real. Sorry to hear about the Coast Guard personnel but let's keep our fingers crossed and prayers going and leave the other stuff out of it. Bad start to 2024 but that's how it goes sometimes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Aurelius

So the coastguard caused the accident as it was on route to provide earthquake assistance ?

Interesting post. You seem to have inferred from previous posts that the Coast Guard pilot caused the crash. If you read through everything again, there is nothing posted that suggests that. This is what worries me about this year's (absolutely crucial) elections. People with short attention spans get all their "news" from social media, and form "opinions" based on nothing.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Ruddy hell, I watched a video on the box that someone took from inside the plane. It was ghastly, totally horrendous. So glad nobody was seriously hurt from that.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

From the video shared by sakurasuki it looks like the JAL plane was already on fire while taxiing and then hit the coast guard plane leading to a bigger explosion. It's amazing that everyone got out safely.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hope never happen again

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well done, JAL cabin crew. They are not just there to serve tea. They are trained to save your lives. That is why they are in charge on flights. If they ask you to do something, do it, and show them the respect they deserve. It can't be easy controlling a plane that is on fire. Top piloting skills.

Attention please - Listen to the crew at the start of the flight, even if you are a frequent flyer. Different models of the same plane may be partitioned differently, so make a mental note of where those doors are on each flight you take.

I've landed at Haneda on a JAL flight and I'm sure many other readers will have too, so this really hits home.

I hope the folk on the coastguard plane are OK too.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It is too early to say about this year, but 2024 might become a disaster year.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

5 of the people in the small plane have died. 1 is in serious condition.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Two planes on the same runway should never happen at a modern airport.

There are supposed to be many failsafe practices to prevent this ever happening.

Some people have failed in their jobs terribly and safety protocols seem lax.

I understand that the coast guard plane was taking supplies to Ishikawa Prefecture. Hurrying is no excuse, but they could have been distracted.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

OssanAmerica

All aboard are safe is the good news. 

Not exactly. 5 of the 6 Coast Guard crew have died, and the 6th is seriously injured.

wallace

A very serious accident and the fire spread quickly. 

Not too quickly. Not before they safely evacuated 379 passengers and crew.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Geeze what a terrible accident. Hoping everyone is ok but it souds like the coast guard plane wasn't so lucky. Good job on the crew of the passenger plane getting everyone off ASAP. It looked like the fire spread slowly but couldn't be extinguished entirely on the inside before it reignighted destorying it entirely, it appeared to be mostly contained for a while.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

We flew on a A350 from Haneda to New Chitose a little over a week ago. It could have been this same plane. Such things are sobering. Hoping all are well on the coast guard plane are well, somehow.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Paul Spira

When did two planes last collide at a major airport in an advanced nation?

I can think of 1991 in Los Angeles, for a start.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_runway_disaster

4 ( +7 / -3 )

deanzaZZR

From the video shared by sakurasuki it looks like the JAL plane was already on fire while taxiing and then hit the coast guard plane leading to a bigger explosion. It's amazing that everyone got out safely.

No. It looks like it caught fire when it collided with the other craft, which created that huge fireball, and appeared to be from the CG aircraft. The JAL liner's right wing was probably ruptured, which caused the fire on that craft.

Seeing the fireball of the CG craft, it's no wonder that crew mostly perished. Luckily for the JAL passengers and crew, it took a few minutes for the fire to spread from the wing to the rest of the aircraft. It seems like it still had plenty of fuel. I wonder if it was scheduled to fly somewhere else, with little or no time for refueling?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

2024 !? not a pleasant start !! Please be easy on us as we are trying to forget the events of the past 3 years, let us pray that the rest of the year will be much more forgiving.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Air Traffic Control????

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Coast Guard aircraft was in the path of the landing JAL liner. The fault most likely lies with the captain of that craft or the airport tower controllers. Although, it is possible that the JAL crew either ignored or misheard a controller request, it is more likely that the CG craft should not have been where it was in the JAL liner's path.

I myself was in a United liner that aborted a landing at the last moment, when the pilot hit the throttle and pulled up hard just as we were about to touch down. No explanation from the flight deck. We just circled around, and landed smoothly at SFO a short while later. But, one must assume that something was on the runway that shouldn't have been, and they were avoiding colliding with it.

My incident happened in daylight. I wonder that if today's incident was in daylight, the JAL pilot might have been able to spot the other craft, and could have aborted his landing, as well. In the video, it looks like that CG craft was pretty hard to see.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sad start for the new year in Japan ! My condoleances for the mourning families. With the earthquakes, this is a difficult start for everybody in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Garypen, 5:50 pm in Japan at this time of the year is pitch black. It should not matter though with all the technology

2 ( +3 / -1 )

While it is truly remarkable and worth celebrating that all passengers and crew were able to evacuate safely, I can't help but wonder if there were any animals in the luggage or cargo holds. Flying is a pretty frightening experience for animals down there on perfect flights. But, to then have to face such a horrifying ordeal is heartbreaking to think about. Hopefully, there were none.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Earthquakes…, airplanes on fire…; what’s next?! *sigh…; RIP to all the victims in Ishikawa and Haneda and strength to their families. Good luck for two thousand and twenty four*, Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

deanzaZZRToday  08:23 pm JST

From the video shared by sakurasuki it looks like the JAL plane was already on fire while taxiing ........

Read the article again.

"I felt a boom like we had hit something and jerked upward the moment we landed," a passenger on the JAL flight told Kyodo news agency. 

On which runway did the accident happen? 34L is currently landing 'planes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I can follow almost all plane taking off from Japan

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Paul SpiraToday  08:18 pm JST

JAL does not have a great safety record

Yes, it does.

The CG plane was getting ready to depart on the runway from a point farther up the runway from the end. It’s a turboprop and needs less runway for takeoff.

It should have been holding short of the runway until the JAL flight landed and cleared the runway. Either the controller gave the wrong clearance to line up for takeoff, or the CG crew misunderstood the call to hold short of the runway. If the CG aircraft took the active runway as the JAL plane was landing, the JAL plane would not have time to accelerate after touchdown. Turbofan engines have a delay in spool up time before thrust increases.

All communications are read back by pilots to ensure they are understood correctly and controllers read back another confirmation if the read back was correct.

The tapes will tell the tale of who made the fatal error.

It’s remarkable everyone exited the JAL plane. The crew and passengers both did an excellent job.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Good grief; expecting 4 horsemen to appear at any time.

RIP to those 5 JCG members. I hope it was quick.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Unfortunately, Everyone did not made out alive, 5 crew of JCG plane have died. RIP.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kudos to the cabin attendants who successfully evacuated a plane that was already on fire by the time it stopped moving...and to the passengers who, despite many headlines, were NOT panicking but doing as they were told calmly. I didn't see anyone messing with carryon baggage, which probably saved lives.

Keep in mind this was a total surprise to the cabin crew...it wasn't like it was an emergency landing or terrible weather. And they followed their training and led their charges to safety. I hope they are recognized.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hopefully everyone was able to get all their carry-on luggage off. That’s a fear of most people on flights.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I listened to some of the communications right after the accident and it's frightening.

English is the universal language in aviation. All radio communication is in English. The ground controller was female and tower was male. The male voice sounded very young.

Pronunciation was incomprehensible at times. Of course, you know and anticipate what possible communications are going to be said at what times. You get used to it. But I suspect the CG does not use as much English as commercial pilots do.

I could barely understand the audio without text being added, it was so bad. Two second language people with poor pronunciation and listening skills is trouble. Both pilots hear radio communications. One is flying and the other is communicating. They are checking each other and can correct each other if something isn't right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Decades of careful, detailed analysis of crashes. Millions of hours of research, simulation, more research, careful engineering, and then throwing that out the window when the next crash revealed flaws.

That's what went into the miraculous ability to get 379 shocked, dazed, disoriented and panicked people off the crashed and burning plane in those 200 or so seconds.

Something to think about as you struggle to get yourself and your carryon bags down the deliberately and precisely narrow aisle.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, and the next time you are on a plane, remember that the last people off it, if it crashes, are, like with this plane, going to be the cabin and cockpit crew.

They're not glorified restaurant staff, they're the people who are there to risk their lives saving your's

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Yrral I guess you follow or track them using GOGGLE right?

I can follow almost all plane taking off from Japan

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Look like the control tower lost its SA situational awareness and allowed this accident to happen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's only been 2 days in 2024 and Japan's already having a seriously rough go of the new year. First the earthquake and now this. How tragic and horrible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a tragedy..

So sorry for the coast guards..

All JAL passengers are safe is a miracle, so happy for that..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Either air traffic control really dropped the ball, or someone on either aircraft ignored or misunderstood commands. Small jet was just taking off so it was fully fueled which caused the explosion, surprised one survived.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How did the New Year bring such horrific news? At all times people should go about life remaining calm!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Google Flightaware JAL 516

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There have been a lot of close calls/collisions at Haneda since major airlines from Narita.

Haneda may not be designed/ready for such a volume

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm looking forward to finding out whose fault it was.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are only a few possible causes.

Controller gave the CG plane wrong instructions to enter the active runway. The pilot in the right seat of the CG aircraft still had a duty to visually ensure no plane is landing. Visibility was good enough to see the approaching JAL flight. Controller and CG crew error.

The controller and CG aircraft miscommunicated a hold short directive to not enter the runway, but it was still the responsibility of the CG aircraft to visually ensure no landing planes. Controller and CG crew error.

The CG aircraft had earlier clearance to take the active runway and depart, but delayed departure for some reason, but the JAL flight would have seen the runway was not clear early enough during the approach to execute and call out a missed approach. Controller and CG crew error.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BBC coverage of this incident is, at the moment, focused on the professionalism of the pilot, crew and firefighters, along with sympathy for the five killed. (BBC news has described it as a miracle that all passengers were evacuated).

Sad that people are speculating who is to blame at this time.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Firstly, my thoughts go out to the Families of those who passed away today.

It has been reported that Flight MA-722 (an aircraft that survived the 2011 quake), was on its way to Ishikawa with Supplies for those impacted by the Earthquake.

It is fortunate that all upon the Civilian aircraft survived, including 8 kids - the actions of the Cabin crew may, as time may tell, have played a significant part in that, and should deserve our gratitude.

As to the cause of this disaster, let's see what the air crash investigation comes up with.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For the curious, based on previous comments here...

Anyone wishing to to track aircraft (with transponders), you can use flightradar24 : https://www.flightradar24.com/

There's also LiveATC (Air Traffic Control) for recorded voice traffic at various Airports - the link below is for Haneda:

https://www.liveatc.net/search/?icao=rjtt

you can check the Archive from 0830Z hrs on the 2nd Jan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some video links:, I'm sure more will arise over time:

https://twitter.com/alto_maple/status/1742115893285412984?s=20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYxDz5BVHz4

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Alan Harrison Today  04:48 am JST

BBC coverage of this incident is, at the moment, focused on the professionalism of the pilot, crew and firefighters, along with sympathy for the five killed. (BBC news has described it as a miracle that all passengers were evacuated). 

Sad that people are speculating who is to blame at this time.

While the above is important, it’s not unreasonable for people to want answers and know who or what was at fault for the loss of the crew’s life and endangerment of 379 passengers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While the above is important, it’s not unreasonable for people to want answers and know who or what was at fault for the loss of the crew’s life and endangerment of 379 passengers.

As always when facts are few, experts are many and the only experience of most of these "experts" is watching reruns of Mayday on TV. Of course people want answers, that goes without saying, we all know that there will be a full investigation and that the results will be published in time. Rather than tarnishing the reputations of those involved without knowing any facts best not to speculate whilst being ignorant of the facts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JapantimeJan. 2  11:21 pm JST

Hopefully everyone was able to get all their carry-on luggage off. That’s a fear of most people on flights.

Ridiculous comment, rather obvious trolling.

Everyone knows via the pre-flight instructions from the cabin crew that carry-on luggage MUST be left behind in case of an emergency evacuation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad the CG people lost their lives when they were going to help people in the earthquake. Planes landing and taking off on the same runway is a problem.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A tragedy, RIP to the those lost, well done to the JAL crew for their roles in protecting passengers, well done to the passengers that followed instructions and did not panic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Initial observations point to human error as there is no reason for two aircraft to be on the same runway at the same time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would have been worse if the two planes had collided in the air.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So the coastguard caused the accident as it was on route to provide earthquake assistance ?

What happened ?

According to NHK it appears that the JCG plane misheard or ignored the directions of ATC to stay off the runway. The JAL plane had proper landing permission.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of my contacts in Japan posted that JAL confirmed two animals (no further details available) were lost in the crash. So sorry for those who seem to have lost pets, as well as families of those who lost loved ones from the CG service.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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