The crash of Japan Airlines Flight in is notorious for being the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history: Route of Japan Airlines Flight The official investigation has shown that the pilots managed to keep the plane in the air for another 32 minutes after the depressurization: Despite the extremely harsh circumstances of the accident, the crash of Flight proved that even in the deadliest of crashes there is some hope for survival.
Namely, four female passengers miraculously survived the disaster and lived to tell the tale. Yumi Ochiai, a year old off-duty flight attendant, Keiko Kawakami, a year old girl, and Hiroki Yoshizaki and Mikiko Yoshizaki, a mother and daughter, miraculously survived the crash.
Japan Airlines Flight 123
All of them were seated in the left row in the rear of the aircraft, and, fortunately, this was the only part of the plane that remained intact. However, the year old Keiko Kawakami was found under the debris that surrounded the plane. She was catapulted out of her seat when the plane hit the mountain and landed on top of a nearby bush.
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The accident was caused by operation by the Captain who was under the influence of alcohol, and loss of speed due to ice on the aircraft. As a related cause, it is assumed the other crewmembers did not stop the Captain's flight intentions. The aircraft continued its descent so low that it struck a hill feet high, four nautical miles short of the runway.
Japan Airlines Flight 123: The crash that made outcasts of my children
Of the total 79 passengers and crew onboard, 34 perished. The accident was caused by the captain descending below minimum descent altitude without having the runway in sight, and continuing the descent until the aircraft struck terrain four nautical miles short of the runway threshold. A subsidiary contributory factor was insufficient monitoring of the aircraft's flight path by the captain under the adverse weather conditions with several aircraft in the holding pattern awaiting their turn for approach and, more importantly, the co-pilot's failure to challenge the captain's breach of company regulations.
Of the total passengers and crew onboard, 24 perished, and 95 were seriously injured.
On final approach, the captain pushed the control column, pulled all engine power levers to forward idle and then pulled the inboard engines into reverse idle position. Probable cause of this captain's action was mental illness.
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Assumed Cause Although the Japanese government aircraft accident investigation committee conducted a thorough investigation, it encountered some difficulty because of the rejection by the Occupation authorities of a request from the committee to provide a tape recording of instructions to the distressed aircraft from the Haneda Airport control tower. Assumed Cause The cockpit crew mistook a point approximately 5 nautical miles north of the Hakodate NDB as being just over the Hakodate NDB, a navigation aid, and initiated their descent from an estimated altitude of 6, ft in an attempt to cross the high station at 2, ft by making a single circle.
Assumed Cause Japanese investigators claimed a false glide path signal was responsible for the descent into terrain. Assumed Cause The supercritical angle of attack was caused by an inadvertent spoiler extension in flight, or a loss of control following a number 1 or 2 engine anomaly due to icing.