Tokyo Haneda Airport Closed After JAL A350 Lands on Japanese Coast Guard Dash-8

Charlie Mortling

Los Angeles, CA

Last updated on Jan 3, 2024

Posted on Jan 2, 2024

Only two days into the new year and it's not starting off great for Japan. Day one a massive 7.6 earth quake rocked the west coast of Japan killing dozens and collapsing buildings, it is the largest and most deadly earthquake since 2015 which registered a 7.8. Today however, some truly heart breaking news as a JAL A350 flying from Sapporo to Tokyo's Haneda airport crashed into a Japanese Coast Guard Dash-8 bringing supplies to earthquake stricken areas as it was lined up on the same runway they were landing on.

The JAL A350 was carrying 367 passengers (including 8 children) and 12 crew members while the Japanese Coast Guard Dash-8-300 was carrying 6 people. While all the passengers on the JAL A350 safely evacuated with around 14 receiving non life threatening injuries, the 6 person crew of the coast guard aircraft dide not. Only the captain of the Dash-8 was able to safely evacuate with 5 others confirmed dead by the Metropolitan Police.

VOLUME WARNING - Recommended to turn down your audio

From some obtained video of the crash it looks like the Dash-8 was lined up on the runway while the JAL A350 was landing in somewhat in a similar sense of the USAir Flight 1493/SkyWest Airlines Flight 5569 crash from 1991.

From the video it seems as if the crew simply did not see the aircraft lined up on the runway, and the question becomes did the air traffic controllers give the coast guard aircraft instruction to line up on the runway while also giving the JAL clearance to land or was somebody not following instructions.

At this time both the Japanese transportation safety board (JTSB) and the French BEA have launched an investigation, with France sending a team due to this involving a the French-made Airbus A350 aircraft.

The airport remains NOTAM closed as the runway this incursion took place on is the main arrival and departure runway for many flights, we are already seeing some major carriers cancelling flights and offering rebooking and waivers for travel.

J0011/24 NOTAMR J0010/24
Q) RJJJ/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3533N13947E005
A) RJTT B) 2401021136 C) 2401021300 EST
E) ALL RWY-CLSD DUE TO DISABLED ACFT

This is still a developing story and obviously we will see initial updates coming out over the next few days and a much larger investigation which will take at least a year to compete. Our hearts go out to the 5 dead members of the Dash-8 crew and everyone involved in this tragedy. For a country already shaken by a major earthquake this just adds to the heart break in the region.

We will update this story with any new details provided in the coming days. A much more in depth description of events is available at The Aviation Herald.

Update: Tower Transcripts

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