A Peach Airlines airbus mistakenly descended to 75 meters above the water on its approach to Naha airport in Okinawa, airline and transport ministry officials said Tuesday.
Flight 252, carrying 59 passengers and crew, had left Ishigaki and was due to land at Naha at around noon on Monday, Fuji TV reported. According to aviation officials, aircraft usually begin their descent into Naha from a point about five kilometers away. However, the Peach Airbus A320-200 began its descent 10 kilometers away and was only 75 meters above the water and still 7 kilometers from the airport before the pilot could regain control.
Nobody on the plane was injured, airline officials said.
A Peach spokesperson told media that the pilot, who is from Argentina, misunderstood air traffic control instructions. Peach said the pilot has been suspended, pending an investigation, Fuji reported.
Aviation officials said planes have a ground proximity warning system that sounds an alarm if an aircraft is too close to the ground, water or a mountain. During the Peach plane's descent, it sounded twice as the captain regained control, Fuji reported.© Japan Today