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Passengers' cooperation in deadly JAL crash made for 'miracle' escape

22 Comments
By Yuki Yamaguchi

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22 Comments

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Consider one's fellow passengers at such a time. It's not just the time taken retrieving overhead stuff and trundling it down a chaotic, dark aisle, it's that it becomes a ballistic missile when on the emergency chute. Nothing is worth potentially causing the death of one or more of your fellow passengers.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Half of the cabin attendants only started in April last year.

Good result all round.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Smoke and heat filling the aircraft. Fire visible from the windows. Flight attendants "discussing" which emergency doors to open. For 18 minutes?

That's not a remotely accurate timeline. From the video evidence, fire units were on scene within 4 minutes, foam had been liberally applied to the ground fuel fire under the left wing and engine by 5:30, and the evacuation call was given 6:20 after the aircraft came to a stop. Basically most everyone was off by 7:00 and the next 10 minutes involved the crew double-checking for left behinds and coordinating with fire crews.

Yes, flight attendants were shouting to one another about exit door status in those first minutes, but this was unavoidable because the interphone system was disabled by either the nose gear collapse or damage sustained by impact with the Dash-8. The flight crew also had no instrument displays and had to visually verify the fire outside.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@Elvis is here

Pets are kept in the hold so how do you suggest they could be rescued?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

“I wonder why none of the 'JAL heroes' have been named? Who was the Captain? Why so seccretive?”

Because everybody on board was a hero in the evacuation, both passengers and the crew

10 ( +10 / -0 )

pets

Sorry but pets are literally the only thing adding weight to an aircraft that don't pay to be there. Pets are allowed on a limited basis as a courtesy to passengers. Aircraft design and safety procedures cannot be prioritized around pets, it is simply not practical. How long should cabin attendants chase after a scared cat that will hide who knows where after an accident?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Smoke and heat filling the aircraft. Fire visible from the windows. Flight attendants "discussing" which emergency doors to open. For 18 minutes?

The entire time from impact to the Captain leaving the aircraft was 18 min.

From beginning of the evacuation to the last passenger off was around 90 seconds.

However, from impact to a decision to begin evacuation was delayed by several minutes due to outdated procedures.

I believe this will change as everyone including JAL realizes that it could have been different.

As a result of the investigation, look for revised training programs industry-wide (in Japan) that give the Cabin Crew more autonomy in initiating an evacuation.

Well done to the Cabin Crew. But lessons can be learned and procedures improved.

And best of all it’s cost-free from a human perspective. Usually these lessons only come about as a result of a massive loss of life.

This one only cost an Airbus. (Yes, I know 5 JCG crew died. I’m strictly referring to evacuation procedures in a survivable crash.) And it was insured.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In May 2019, over 40 people died following an Aeroflot plane's emergency landing at an airport near Moscow. Interfax news agency said at the time the evacuation was delayed by some passengers trying to collect their baggage, which led to large casualties.

I cannot honestly fathom why anyone in a life or death emergency would even consider taking their carry-on crap off. It's all insured anyway - unless you are a moron.

Good on the crew and passengers. Sorry about those pets, but that's the risk when one takes them on a plane I'm afraid.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Congrats. What about the pets abandoned on the burning plane? If things were arranged differently, they could have been evacuated with their families.

I feel for those pet owners. I don't think I would ever recover from having my pets burning to death.

Those talking about pets as if they were the last of their thoughts during a crash probably never established a meaningful bond with theirs (if they ever had any).

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Of the 367 passengers, 43 were foreign nationals, JAL said, adding they also readily followed the company's instructions and evacuated with no problems.

Congrats. What about the pets abandoned on the burning plane? If things were arranged differently, they could have been evacuated with their families.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Would you rather burn to death with your pets?

No. I would rather survive with my pets.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

A long-time friend related his friend’s experience on the plane to me today. The passenger mentioned that the cabin attendant waited for the captain’s order to open the door in the rear of the plane per SOP. However, when the order was not forthcoming she opened it AFTER a passenger asked. I know training has a purpose, but can crew be trained to take initiative?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's a flight from Sapporo, I was on a flight one day before that, so it was probably filled with both Japanese and tourists.

We have never seen in-plane view of airplanes about to crash, but after seeing the video of this incident, I'm starting to doubt the stereotypical movie scene about passengers in it for themselves, elbowing their way for safety. Maybe, when it's live and death and stuck in a tube, most people accept their fate and instinctively somewhat understood that cooperation instead of competition is the only way to increase rate of survival.

Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Pets are kept in the hold so how do you suggest they could be rescued?

By not keeping them in the hold.

If pets aren't given same chance of rescue as other passengers and crew, they should not fly.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

In my opinion it was just by luck that everyone got off! I wonder why none of the 'JAL heroes' have been named? Who was the Captain? Why so seccretive?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Imagine yourself in the same life-or-death situation. Would you rather burn to death with your pets?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Pets are allowed on a limited basis as a courtesy to passengers

I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert on this ( who would do that eh.?.) but a quick google reveals this from JAL:

Since safety of your animal is priority number one, we take various measures based on advice

https://www.jal.co.jp/en/jalcargo/support/animal/

Priority???? There is a problem here.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Smoke and heat filling the aircraft. Fire visible from the windows. Flight attendants "discussing" which emergency doors to open. For 18 minutes?

I'd last maybe 2 minutes after landing before I bust open one of the emergency exits and slide to safety, and thereby spare myself and fellow passengers of 16 minutes unnecessary exposure to the smoke and heat and anxiety.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

What are grotesque article. Would have not been Japan and the world would have moved on and nobody would be commenting on the affected people being this or that. And if every body in the plane would have died in this accident, everyone would be saying that Japanese are cowards idiots who can’t take action to save their life. This grotesque nationalism fueled by some silly foreigners is stupid.

"Everybody survived on the JAL plane. It's very possible that that may not have happened if it was America or a Western country because everybody would be trying to grab luggage," Justin Quitadamo, 40, who was visiting Japan from the U.S. state of Idaho, said at Haneda airport.

"Japanese people...follow instructions and they consider people around them," he said. "Every time I come here, everything is very orderly" as exemplified by people waiting in line for public transportation.

"I think those characteristics of Japanese culture contributed to the safety of every single one of those people getting off the airplane," he added.

What a little puppet of Japan. So silly comments which have no ground in reality. Did he really see the public transportation in Japan at busy hours?

And his statement that if it would have been a western country the outcome would be worse is not even backed by reality since people choose to pick the events that fit their narratives. For example all 309 passengers of an Air France plane which crashed in 2005 in Toronto could escape with only a few injuries even though the plane bursted in fire and the accident was way worse than the JAL one.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

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