Japan Airlines Crash: Runway Warning Lights Out, No Clearance for Coast Guard


Reports say that in addition to safety features being out, the Japanese Coast Guard aircraft did not have permission to line up for takeoff.


Warning Lights Down Since December 27, Not Warning About Coast Guard Aircraft

ABC News reports a warning light system which would alert pilots of traffic on the runway malfunctioned on December 27, 2023. A NOTAM message was prepared for all inbound aircraft to warn them of the outage and that it would continue to be down until further notice.


Meanwhile, transcripts from the Japanese Transportation Ministry suggest that the Coast Guard aircraft was not cleared to enter the runway prior to the accident. The Japanese military aircraft was on a mission to provide resources and relief to the central Japan area where a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit on New Year’s Day. Both the warning lights and the incursion are being investigated to determine how they may have affected the incident.


Japan Airlines is crediting the quick actions of their crew for saving all lives aboard the Airbus 350-900 involved in the crash. The carrier said in a press release the crew were forced to shout and use megaphones to instruct everyone to leave the aircraft after the announcement system malfunctioned. Flyers used three different emergency exits to leave the aircraft. A total of 14 people were seen by paramedics: One flyer was treated for bruising, while 13 others requested medical attention “due to physical discomfort.”


The carrier also says they were given clearance to land by air traffic controllers at Tokyo Haneda Airport. “According to interviews with the operating crew, they acknowledged and repeated the landing permission from air traffic control, and then proceeded with the approach and landing procedures,” the press release reads.


The A350-900 airframe is a total loss for the carrier, potentially costing millions of dollars to replace. Insurance Journal notes the airline is insured for hull damage by AIG, among other companies.


Follow the latest details on the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 516 on the FlyerTalk Forums..


Ed. Note: The aircraft depicted above was involved in the accident. Feature image courtesy: Steven Byles/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Source: frugal travel guy

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