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Japan plane fire latest: Five killed after jet crash caused runway inferno; first collision details emerge

A Japan Airlines flight caught fire on the runway of Tokyo's Haneda airport after a collision with a coastguard plane. All passengers have been evacuated - but five crew members of the small plane have died. ( More...

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sparkie624 8
Prayers to the Families.. A Very tragic Event!
Jeff Steiner 7
As per usual, Juan Browne does an excellent job of sharing and breaking down everything we know so far about this horrible accident that could have been MUCH MUCH worse:

Initial report (2-Jan):

Followup report (4-Jan):
I emailed Juan almost as soon as I saw the first report. Your statement this accident could have been much worse actually DID happen in 1991. Only in 1991 it was ATC error that caused the crash of a 737 landing atop a small turboprop. [also in the dark] On February 1, 1991, USAir flight 1493 collided with SkyWest Airlines Flight 5569 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California. The collision resulted in the death of 22 of the 89 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 and all 12 passengers and crew aboard the Metroliner.The aircraft involved in the runway collision was a five-year-old USAir Boeing 737-300 with the registration N388US and a SkyWest Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop with the registration N683AV. USAir Flight 1493 was a regularly scheduled passenger service from Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) to final destination at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with a stop at LAX. You can watch it on YouTube.
Peter Fuller 3
Both the USAir Flight 1493 crash at LAX in 1991 and the crash at Haneda involved smaller aircraft not needing the full runway length for takeoff maneuvering toward entering an active runway from a taxiway intersection rather than at the runway end. Such intersection takeoffs save a little time for a departing aircraft but obviously introduce more risk of a screw-up in which an aircraft is sitting still part way along an active runway. Intersection takeoffs should be prohibited, if not all the time at least at night and in low visibility conditions.
I think Airports should have something like a nighttime ground TCAS system for runways. ALL RUNWAY LIGHTS should turn RED anytime there is an aircraft on an active runway. Runway hold short points should have a big red stop sign that does not change to green until given takeoff clearance. Historically, it has taken a catastrophe to have policies changed. Let's hope that it doesn't take one now.
Billy Koskie 5
Sure did. I wonder how many of these YouTube demonetizes only because they involve fatalities. His thoroughness and explanations are outstanding.
Eric Rindal 7
Dash 8 reportedly told to hold short.
Forget ATC communication and red lights. If the Dash-8 crew would have looked they would have seen the A350 approaching.
2sheds 2
What little I have read indicates there was some, or a lot of, ambiguity in ATC/CG dialogue. Did the interchange between ATC and CG get misunderstood? Maybe, but maybe not. Did tower use the words "Hold short RWYxx..." which is clear and unambiguous or did ATC say something that was like "Taxi to hold line..."
ATC is filled with humans who can make errors but they are likely far more skilled than I am and sometimes they say things that are or could be confusing or ambiguous. When I am given a clearance that makes me wonder if I heard it correctly, I always repeat it in the way I think it means to me and sometimes changing words to disambiguate what I thought they said. If I am wrong, and that happens often, they always correct me, and courteously, but often they come back and use the same or similar words and sequence I used. I know I could be wrong and don't want to leave anything to vague conjecture.
This event makes me even more cautious and I am eager to hear what the accident investigation reveals.
My speculation: English is not the captain's native language, so coupled with "anticipatory understanding" of ATC instructions, he interpreted the taxi-and-hold instruction as permission to take off, because he was on an important flight.
James Simms 3
Out of Left Field I know; but asJapan was in the initial stages of the recovery from a Severe Earthquake, I wonder if there was a fatigue factor involving the crew? Or if the seriousness of the recovery caused the Jpn CG Captain to hear what he wanted to hear to get on w/the recovery instead of what he actually heard?
I think the ambiguity of ATC communications is that it needs to be standardized across the entire world. Even though some countries converse in their native tongues, I feel that the PHRASEOLOGY should be uniform all around the world, so that no matter where an aircraft is the term hold at the stop point or line up and wait never be misunderstood. It was just a miracle that only 5 people and 2 dogs perished in this crash. It could instantaneously have been 384 dead.
Brian Anderson 4
It's a little disturbing to see the intensity of the fuselage fire. A few decades back the regulators introduced rules regarding flammability of interior components and furnishings.

Perhaps now some thought needs to be given to the flammability of these composite structures?
fltsim350 5
Brian, I agree, What is the interior of an aircraft made of, on this video is looks like materials are very flammable (don't we have something better/less flammable?
Greg S 4
It appears the aircraft evacuation was not started until at least 15 minutes after the crash. Given that fact and that every one of over 300 people was evacuated safely through only a couple of slides, the composite structures held up more than adequately. This was a good real-world survivability test of composites in general and the A350 in particular and they both passed with flying colors.
john baugh 4
Well, Jet fuel is flammable. They had a huge amount of fuel carried in the wings and fuselage.. The interior of the plane is constructed of FAA approved materials. Doesn't help that the overhead bins are full of luggage and bags filed with flammable clothing and items. That alone would be a huge factor.
Peter Fuller 5
“They had a huge amount of fuel carried in the wings and fuselage”: most likely they departed with only the fuel plus reserves needed for the short approx 500 mile flight, far less than full tanks, so no huge amount left to burn in the crash.

“…Jet fuel is flammable.”: well, yes, but the A350 has a fuel inerting system in which inert nitrogen is pumped into the tanks to greatly reduce the flammability of fuel vapor and remaining fuel in the tanks.

I think those two factors may have reduced the severity of the immediate post-crash fire, buying time for everyone to get out safely.
I think what happened in this case showcased the strength of composite materials. The plane did not break apart upon impact, nor did the explosion penetrate the cabin. The fact that it did not turn into an inferno until AFTER the evacuation is a testament that those few extra seconds they had before the really took hold is a point in favor of composites. However, in America, the results probably would have resulted in a higher loss of life, because Americans ain't getting off a plane without their carry-ons.
Randall Bursk 2
Research your comment before posting. Current technology is best it’s ever been. Study early years , Convairs, Boeings, Baac, etc. safety in fuel, location and flammability, macterials. Hats off to engineers, aircraft design. No hesitation putting family members on an airplane. C5 is a reverse high speed taxiway midfield 34R. Used for short field takeoff performance aircraft like the Dash 8. Electronic Flight Kit with actual position on airport diagram for crew to reference is handy. Made my job easier in later years.
linbb 3
Try looking at other aircraft that has aluminum and some other types of metal they are built of. If left to burn like this on they turn into puddles of melted metal except for the steel parts. Not much difference and also the left engine was running for quite a while so they could get water on that side to do much good. The left shut down quite quickly dont know if the pilots did it or what.
Alan Hewat 2
The smoke rapidly filling the cabin worries me. Smoke kills before fire. Should external air intake not be shut off routinely on take-off and landing ?
Randall Bursk 1
C5 is a reverse high speed mid field taxiway.. Dash crew couldn’t see landing traffic 34R
But it would have been a moot point if the Coast Guard Dash 8 had held at the stop point.
Greg S 1
Because it's not perpendicular, it's at a sharp angle? Maybe, I'm not convinced it's impossible. The FO died, so we may never know. We do know (if you trust the released transcript) that whoever was operating the radio acknowledged and correctly read back the hold instruction "taxi to holding point C5".
Randall Bursk 2
All high-speed exit taxiways have a 30-degree angle with the runway, and the radius of the turn off the runway is always 1500 ft. High-speed taxiways WITH a reverse turn require a 150-degree turn from the runway, but they have a nose gear steering angle of no more than 50 degrees if you follow the markings properly.
Taxing C5 to Holding Point 34R. Dash nose heading 010. F/O has limited to no vision of landing traffic on 34R. Intersection is half way down 34R. Prior to entering the runway. Dash captain would have to make a right turn to clear final. Then make a left turn to start T/O 34R.
Greg S 1
I've seen some charts where C5B is the high-speed turnoff and C5 is perpendicular to 34R. It also looks that way from the satellite imagery on Google Maps. It's a bit confusing for me, I'll be looking for more clarity in the days to come.
wigmore hoover 1
Runway incursion by the C,G. airplane ? Yes ?
matt jensen 1
Very sad news ... Only Mode-S transponder equipped aircraft should be allowed in busy airports.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Greg S 15
Your first sentence is so stupid it's funny. Thank you for that.
linbb -6
You have that right like I pointed out above.
Sean Sims 11
You do realize that the linked "article" was a running live blog that was updated throughout the event, right? The reason they, "repeat things several times" is due to the fact that, like a live broadcast, people were "tuning in" in the middle of the event. Rather than forcing them to scroll back through and read all the updates the news summarized the event so the late joiners could pickup the important bits and continue to monitor for updates.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

And you are sending a good example.
Sean Sims 1


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