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Investigators probe conflicting reports on Tokyo airport crash

25 Comments
By Hiroshi HIYAMA

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© 2024 AFP

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25 Comments
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Probably be a good idea to keep prosecutors out of any investigation into this incident. Cool calm heads and methodical thinking is the best way to conduct an inquiry. Full praise to all concerned for avoiding what could have been catastrophic loss of life. Sympathies to the families of the 5 who did loose their lives.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

officials pledged to investigate how the incident happened

Japanese pledge that's real guarantee.

.

France's Airbus, which manufactured the JAL plane, said it would send a team of specialists to help Japanese authorities investigate.

Is obvious not because faulty Airbus plane, is communication problem. Why two airplane can be at the same time on the same run way?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2024/01/03/japan/jal-flight-cleared-tokyo-collision/

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

It appears, from initial reports, the English Proficiency and Aviation Terminology used by the Air Traffic Controller is in question.

Therefore, the Coast Guard Pilot entered the runway

RIP

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"NHK reported that the control tower had instructed the coast guard plane to hold short of the runway."

Inaccurate press reports are the biggest cause of conflicting stories.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The only conflict here is the JCG stating their pilot said he had clearance. MLIT had to correct the record subsequently. Maybe the JCG crew thought they had clearance, but the recordings will show definitively what was said. The only thing clear on the audio tape I heard is the JCG flight was cleared to hold short of 34R, and JL516 was cleared to land on 34R. Another mystery to be answered though is the JCG aircraft entered the runway and apparently held there for several moments without a peep from the tower. So one wonders how the tower failed to notice an aircraft had not complied with their instructions while JL516 was about to land. The DHC8 is a small dimly-lit aircraft, if they were in position on the runway, it is very unlikely JL516 even saw them until it was too late.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The JCG DHC8 isn't as big as an AB 350. But it's no Cessna. Not exactly easy to miss.

https://flyteam.jp/photo/3837578

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I would like to express my sympathy and respect for the five coast guard crew members who perished in this accident. In Japan we and the media tend to move on quickly from serious incidents and accidents without learning much about those who may have died or have been injured. No names, no photos, no gofundme, no recognition..just move on.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I’ve listened to the ATC recordings several times. The ATC communication was poor to say the least. The male ATC did not use the term ‘hold short’ or ‘line up and wait’ which are standard terms used. The ATC should also have had a warning of an impending collision yet they issued to warning to JAL, dubious to say the least.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Let's wait for the official investigation results before jumping to any conclusions.

Speculating doesn't help anyone.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The JCG DHC8 isn't as big as an AB 350. But it's no Cessna. Not exactly easy to miss.

I assure you it is easy to miss in position on a runway when you are approaching from behind with a nose up angle of 5-6 degrees on a 3 degree glidepath. Also keep in mind the pilots are likely using a HUD, with pale green lighting against the backdrop of an array of airfield and city lights, contrasted with the black bay. The DHC8 does not have powerful night lighting like a large airliner. It has a very narrow profile, the T-tail potentially blocks the anti-collision light on top of the fuselage from view depending on the angle, essentially invisible until you're too close to take meaningful evasive action.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

QuestionsGuy:

 I heard is the JCG flight was cleared to hold short of 34R

As I recall from my Retired Air Force Colonel flight Instructor,

the PROPER Terminology is:

”HOLD SHORT” not “You are CLEARED to Hold Short”.

Thus, the Pilot entered the runway.

Let’s wait for that ”Investigation”.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nowadays, I can check the position of the McDonald’s delivery guy on an app but there’s no system at airports which can prevent such tragedies to happen? And as someone without any knowledge on this topic, I’m surprised that the communication between the air traffic controller and pilot is only verbal and miscommunication may be the cause of such an accident …

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

All hold short instructions are to be read back, and cleared for take off also requires a read back. What do the tapes say?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

France's Airbus, which manufactured the JAL plane, said it would send a team of specialists to help Japanese authorities investigate.

Is obvious not because faulty Airbus plane, is communication problem. Why two airplane can be at the same time on the same run way?

This is the first serious accident involving a new type of aircraft. Airbus will want to investigate many things on how the aircraft handled the initial impact, what areas burned at what speeds etc. It'll be less about who was at fault and more to do with safety aspects. Seems like a good idea to me.

heard is the JCG flight was cleared to hold short of 34R

As I recall from my Retired Air Force Colonel flight Instructor,

the PROPER Terminology is:

”HOLD SHORT” not “You are CLEARED to Hold Short”.

Thus, the Pilot entered the runway.

I think QuestionsGuy simply means "I heard the JCG flight was TOLD to hold short of 34R".

Or given instructed to / allowed to proceed to that point. I don't think he means the controller definitely used the word "cleared to" in his instruction to hold short of the runway.

But as you say, we'll find out in due course after the investigation is completed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think QuestionsGuy simply means "I heard the JCG flight was TOLD to hold short of 34R".

Correct.

Let’s wait for that ”Investigation”.

MLIT released the ATC transcript this evening and it was very clear. JCG was instructed to go to the hold point on C5, and read back that instruction. JL516 was cleared to land on 34R and also read back that instruction. There was no comment from the tower even after JCG violated their instruction and got onto 34R anyway.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kudos to the Japanese passengers for maintaining their cool and not panicking.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You need both audio and visual signals.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Anyone who questions the proficiency of the Haneda ATC obviously hasn't flown to many airports outside the English world.

And importantly why would a coastguard pilot usually based at Haneda not understand the type of wording used at Haneda airport?

And non-standard terms are used in many countries including famously as JF for example.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

FYI I just read the transcript of the ATC and there is no sight of the misspoken commands on the script and everything seems to be in order. The English is no worse than at any other Asian airport except Singapore or India.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr_TToday  09:50 pm JST

Nowadays, I can check the position of the McDonald’s delivery guy on an app but there’s no system at airports which can prevent such tragedies to happen? 

There is. It’s called TCAS. The CG plane failed to turn on TCAS and squawk, the normal procedure when entering a runway.

If they had been cleared to line up and wait, they would have been given a squawk code also.

If TCAS was on, the JAL flight would have had a conflict alarm and immediate action would have been taken to validate the conflict and maneuver.

It’s very difficult for a plane on approach to see an aircraft on a runway at night. Landing lights are aligned to the intended touchdown spot and the CG aircraft was in front of the landing spot.

The JAL flight could not accelerate quickly if the plane was spotted late because turbofan engines have a delay from spool up time before throttle input translates to thrust. The decision height to land or abort is 200’.

Again, the fact that the two aircraft were on different tower frequencies meant they could not hear radio calls by or to each other and the tower.

If you want speculation, here it is. I don’t think the A team ground controllers were on duty. The radio call to the CG aircraft was a young voice, overwhelmed, hurried, using non-standard call language and on the wrong frequency. The CG aircraft not turning on TCAS, not squawking and not visually checking for aircraft landing (the weather was OK and they would have seen the landing lights of the JAL plane on final) are all contributing factors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do the recordings provided by LiveATC reflect the actual sound quality heard by the Pilots ?

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

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's too bad that none of the people responsible for operation of the Coast Guard aircraft lived, unlike the captain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Peter Neil

There is. It’s called TCAS. The CG plane failed to turn on TCAS and squawk, the normal procedure when entering a runway.

I checked with other news, I couldn't find those news mentioning TCAS where is your source for this?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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