How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

Statistics convincingly states that air travel is the safest mode of transport. Indeed, the safety of passengers in civil aviation is given great attention.

And, nevertheless, all these efforts can not give one hundred percent guarantee. Sometimes a series of minor flaws, miscalculations, human errors leads to a catastrophic development of events.

It happened on August 12, 1985, when one of the worst tragedies in the history of world aviation took place.

This day at the Tokyo’s Haneda airport was particularly lively. On the eve of the holiday of Bon, which is customarily celebrated in Japan with family, thousands of people working in the capital, went to meet with relatives.

At 18:00 local time, Japan Airlines' Boeing 747SR-46 aircraft was preparing to fly from Tokyo to Osaka. The flight was categorized as “SR” - “short distance” - and had to last only 54 minutes.Especially for flights of the SR category in Japan, the Boeing Corporation built a modification of the 747 model, which allowed us to take up to 550 passengers.

The flight JAL 123 on August 12 took off with 15 crew members and 509 passengers on board. The aircraft commander was a 49-year-old Masami Takahama, an experienced pilot who had worked for 19 years, 10 of which as Boeing 747 commander. The second pilot was 39-year-old Yutaka Sasaki, who had 10 years experience co-pilot Boeing 747.

Signal "7700"

At 18:12 the plane took off from the airport Haneda. At 18:24 the ship took the prescribed flight of 7,200 meters, and one of the flight attendants asked the commander if she could start serving passengers. At that moment, when she received an affirmative answer, there was a loud sound in the cabin, like an explosion. The cabin was filled with white smoke.

In the cockpit, an alarm signaling that a sudden pressure drop inside the fuselage was triggered.

The crew tried to determine what happened. Masami Takahama suggested that the landing gear flaps were torn off. The flight engineer reported that the hydraulic system is faulty. The captain decided to turn the plane back to Tokyo.However, when the pilot Sasaki tried to turn the steering wheel, it turned out that the Boeing did not obey the rudders.

A “7700” signal appeared on the ground controller's screen, indicating that the ship was in distress. The captain reported on the accident, but neither he nor the ground services had any idea what exactly happened.

Passengers and crew put on oxygen masks that are triggered in case of depressurization of the aircraft.

30 minutes of madness

The commander and co-pilot tried to force the ship to lie on the opposite course, but the situation was rapidly deteriorating. With an ever-increasing amplitude, the Boeing began to swing in all three axes. A huge machine entered the mode of the so-called "Dutch step." Passengers on board became ill, panic began. Some, pulling out sheets from notebooks, began to write farewell notes to relatives, others cried or prayed.

In the cockpit at this moment pilots fought with the crazed plane, trying to control it without steering wheels, using only engine thrust.

Differentiating left and right turbines, the crew managed to turn the plane in the direction of Tokyo.

At this time on the ground dispatchers offered different options for emergency landing sites, including the US Air Force base.However, Takahame and Sasaki at that moment did not have to choose - at every second they could completely lose the ability to fly the airliner.

Attempts to start a decline in Mount Fuji failed. At 18:41, the Boeing, out of obedience, made a circle with a radius of 4 km over the city of Otsuki. At the cost of incredible efforts, the commander again managed to force the plane to lie on the desired course.

At 18:47, Takamakha told the dispatchers that the plane was out of control and they were about to crash into the mountain. But here, the crew managed to avoid danger. However, after this "Boeing" began to rapidly lose height. Having flown over the Izu Peninsula and the Suruga Bay, the aircraft proceeded in a northwesterly direction.

The uncontrolled airliner was in a mountainous area, which made the chances of salvation minimal. But the crew did not leave attempts to control the situation.

Trying to avoid a collision with another mountain, the commander increased the thrust of the engines, but the effect was the opposite: the plane almost collapsed into a tailspin. Using the maximum thrust of the engines and the release of flaps from the emergency electrical system, the crew managed to align the "Boeing". However, the liner, drooping nose, rushed to the next top.Masami Takamaha again managed to level the car, but there was no time left to avoid a collision with a mountain. Hitting the tops of the trees, the plane turned over and at 18:56 at high speed crashed into the wooded slope of Mount Ozutaka at an altitude of 1,457 meters 112 kilometers north-west of Tokyo. A fire broke out at the crash site.

Saved four, killed dozens

The C-130 aircraft of the US Air Force discovered the crash site of the Boeing 30 minutes after the crash. Coordinates were transferred to Japanese rescuers. The helicopter of the rescue service, arriving at the site, found that the wreckage lay on a steep slope, landing on which is difficult. In addition, the area of ​​the fall was engulfed in fire. The commander of the helicopter Suzu Amori decided to return to the base, reporting that no survivors were found.

The rescue team arrived at the crash site only 14 hours later, not expecting to meet the living. What a shock the search engines experienced when four passengers found out on the spot at once, who, in addition to injuries, got hypothermia due to the night spent on the mountain.

Four women survived the crash: Yumi Otiai, 26, Hiroko Yoshizaki, 34, with her 8-year-old daughter, Mikiko, and 12-year-old Keiko Kawakami.

Yumi Otiai was a stewardess of Japan Airlines, which did not work on that flight, but made a private trip. It was she who was able to give the most information about what was happening on board.

Keiko Kawakami was found by rescuers in a tree, onto which she was thrown out during the crash of an airplane. In addition to the catastrophe, the girl witnessed the death of her father - the man remained alive, she heard his voice, but he did not survive the 14-hour wait of the rescuers.

The testimony of the surviving passengers and the results of the forensic medical examination show that dozens of people from the JAL 123 flight survived the crash, but died because the rescuers did not start the operation immediately. Some of the dead were still alive for about 10 hours, but did not wait for help.

At the crash site they found “black boxes”, as well as a lot of passengers' suicide notes.

Japan experienced a real shock. Distracted by grief, relatives raided the offices of Japan Airlines, and its staff avoided appearing in crowded places. President of the airline Yashimoto Takagi resigned, without waiting for the end of the investigation. The chief technical officer of Japan Airlines at Haneda airport went even further, making himself a hara-kiri.

During the inspection of the technical condition of other aircraft Japan Airlines revealed an unattractive picture - a lot of faults and malfunctions.

But I needed an answer to the main question - why did flight JAL 123 die?

It quickly became clear that we were not talking about a terrorist act. On August 13, 1985, the destroyer of Japan’s naval self-defense picked up the wrecks of the vertical and horizontal tail of the crashed Boeing that were floating in the Sagami Bay. This meant that in flight the plane lost its keel and elevators.

Experts said: in such accidents, the Boeing was not just doomed, but had to collapse almost immediately. Pilots Masami Takahama and Yutaka Sasaki did the impossible by holding the liner in the air for another half an hour. In the end, their skill saved four human lives. It could have saved more, if not for the 14-hour delay of rescuers.

But how could a huge passenger plane, not subjected to fire or attack by terrorists, lose its tail?

"Malefactor" in Japanese

The trail was helped by the study of the flight biography of the Boeing. On June 2, 1978, due to the pilot’s error, the JA8119 board hit the tail section of the runway at Osaka Airport,as a result, the tail pressure bulkhead was damaged - the bulkhead separating the tail passenger cabin of the liner, which maintains approximately constant air pressure, from the unsealed tail section of the aircraft.

Repair of the liner was carried out in Japan under the guidance of engineers at Boeing Corporation. According to the technology, it was prescribed to strengthen the damaged halves of the bulkhead using an integral plate-amplifier fixed with three rows of rivets. However, the technicians who did the work, instead of installing a single amplifier with three rows of rivets, used two separate reinforcing elements, one of which was fixed with a double row of rivets, and the second just a single one.

Technicians did not consider such a “innovation” a serious violation, and the plane really successfully continued flights. But during takeoffs and landings, the load gradually destroyed the metal at the drilling sites. The catastrophe has become inevitable - the question was only when it will occur.

This whole situation seems to be a Japanese transcription of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov's classic story “The Malefactor”.She might have seemed funny if she hadn't caused hundreds of deaths.

On August 12, 1985, during takeoff, the pressure bulkhead did not withstand the pressure and collapsed, killing hydraulic pipelines. Air from the passenger compartment under high pressure hit the cavity of the vertical tail stabilizer, knocking it out like a cork from a champagne bottle. Boeing lost control ...

Japan Airlines had to restore its damaged reputation for a very long time, Boeing corporation tightened the rules for the repair of aircraft and carried out an urgent inspection of its planes of various airlines in the world to prevent such incidents.

Here are just 520 ruined human lives will not return.

At 18.04 the "lower" dispatcher brought the "Boeing" to the taxiing. In the passenger compartments of the 528 seats employed 509. Together with the crew on board the liner 524 people. Despite the inconvenience, the passengers, mostly Japanese, did not show the slightest discontent and waited with enviable patience when the 54-minute flight would start (from Tokyo to Osaka only 400 km). The aircraft took off at 18.12 local time, and at 18.24 it took the echelon 240 (7200 m) prescribed by the ATC service.

The onboard tape recorder recorded the crew talks:

18.24.10.Stewardess: Several passengers pressed the call button. Can I go to them?

Captain Takahama: Just be careful ... be careful ... and quickly.

Stewardess: Good.

18.24.34. A sound like an explosion comes from the tail of an airplane. Beep ... beep ... beep ... (An alarm goes off in the cabin.)

Flight engineer: Eh! The alarm goes off.

Captain: What happened? Check chassis ... chassis!

18.24.44. Flight attendant (by intercom): Please put on oxygen masks, fasten seat belts; we are starting an emergency descent ...

Flight attendant: Please attention ... passengers with children ... passengers ... get ready for ...

18.24.46. Captain: Responder code 77.

What was going on board? The crew was preparing to get on the airway, when suddenly a huge plane was shocked by a blow of terrible power. Yumi Otiai, the flight attendant of the Jal company, flying on personal business on this flight and miraculously surviving the disaster, recalled: “At 18.25 there was a sound like an explosion. The cabin was filled with smoke. I had to wear oxygen masks. ”

In the cockpit, an alarm immediately triggered, warning of a sudden drop in pressure inside the fuselage. The pilots tried to find out the cause of the explosion in the tail of the aircraft, accompanied by a depressurization.Since the Boeing continued to fly in a given board, the crew did not immediately realize how serious the accident was. Takahama suggested that the chassis doors were torn off. The flight engineer informed the captain about the malfunction of the hydraulic system. Takahama made the decision to go back. The co-pilot turned the steering wheel to the right, but the plane did not obey the rudders. All four hydraulic systems failed, the plane became uncontrollable.

18.24.54.? (unidentified): Hydro pressure has dropped.

?: Yellow is on ... (Unintelligible.)

18.25.03 The alarm is triggered.

18.25.13. Captain: Right turn ...

06.25.14. Captain: Right turn.

The co-pilot: Perform.

Captain: So.

18.25.50. Captain: Not so cool.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.26.08. Captain: Try to restore (pressure in the hydraulic system. - IM).

Co-pilot: Cannot recover.

18.26.12. Captain: Climbing.

18.26.25. Captain: All hydraulics out of order?

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

Captain: Going down.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

Flight engineer: This is ... (Inaudible.)

Captain: Reduced.

The alarm is triggered.

Captain: What is that sound? ..

18.26.45. Captain: Right turn.

Co-pilot: Right U-turn.

18.27.37. Captain: Come on left.

18.27.46.?: The pressure in the hydro completely dropped. Is it?

? Totally. Quite ... Yes.

Six minutes after the ATC began to lead the plane, the responder’s emergency code, 7700, appeared on the dispatcher’s screen.

The crew said: Tokyo, Jal 123. We have ... a serious problem. I intend to return to Haneda. We are dropping to two hundred and twenty (6,600 meters - IM). Reception

ATC Tokyo: Understood by you, Jal one hundred twenty three. All your requests will be fulfilled.

Takahama: Oshima radar vector, please.

Department of Internal Affairs Tokyo: Right turn on the course zero ninety, the radar vector on Oshima.

At 18.28 the alarm "Door number 5 opened" worked.

18.28.48. Captain: Left turn.

18.29.00. Captain: (inaudible.) ... falls.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir. I'm trying to…

18.30.27. Flight engineer: Cab depressurization has occurred.

18.30.52. Co-pilot: Cabin pressure drops.

The options for the landing site were discussed between the crew and the Air Traffic Control Center: the Nagoya airfield, the US Air Force base at Yokota and Haneda.

Tokyo Department of Internal Affairs: seventy-two miles from you Nagoya; can you sit in Nagoya?

Takahama: I intend to return to Haneda.

The flight engineer reports after talks with the flight attendant on the intercom: “Captain, door number 5 is really open.Emergency reduction is required. In my opinion, you should wear oxygen masks. ” Captain: "Yes, of course."

18.33. At this stage, the engines still obey the will of the pilots. Captain Takahama did his best to turn the machine out of control into the opposite direction. But the Boeing devoid of steering wheels with ever-increasing amplitude began to sway along all three axes. The heavy airliner fell into the mode of the so-called Dutch step, and from this “bumpiness” many passengers became ill.

Stewardess Yumi Otiai, who was sitting in the tail end of the plane, recalls how the Boeing 747 began to do hira-hira — to fall like foxes from a tree.

The pilots tried to control the aircraft with the help of engines, although it was incredibly difficult. Differentiating the left and right turbines, the crew managed to turn the plane to the east, and the Boeing set off on a course that could, given a favorable set of circumstances, bring it to Haneda Airport. When the car reached the top of Mount Fuji, the pilots tried to drive the car down. However, the speed of the car has increased dramatically, and in order to reset it a bit, I had to accidentally release the chassis.

At 18.41, at an altitude of 22,000 feet (6,600 m), the car became completely unmanageable, and the plane made a circle with a radius of 2.5 miles. Desperate efforts Takahame managed to return the liner to the previous course.

18.47. ATC Tokyo: Can you fly now?

Captain: The plane is out of control ... Hey, there is a mountain ahead ... A turn to the right. We fall. We will hit the mountain!

The crew uses the full power of the engines to gain altitude, but the plane begins to inadvertently tail and then rapidly fall. Having flown over the Izu Peninsula and the Suruga Bay, the Boeing proceeded in a northwesterly direction. Speed ​​108 miles per hour.

Flight Engineer: Increase Turnovers?

Captain: Increase, increase ... Eh ... no ... we are starting to fall.

Captain: Maximum thrust.

Flight engineer: Speed ​​is increasing, speed ... Hold!

Before the disaster, five minutes. The crew until the very end is trying to save the plane and passengers on board.

18.50.55. Captain: Speed ​​220 knots.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

Captain: Do not lower the nose (new part). It increases speed.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.51.04. Captain: The nose goes down.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir. Raise your nose, lift! Should I release flaps?

Captain: It will not help.

Co-pilot: No, sir, with emergency.

Flight engineer: Emergency flaps can be released.

18.51.22.Captain: Put your nose down ...

Captain: In two hands ...

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.51.29. Captain: Drop the nose.

Captain: Yes. Traction

Flight engineer: I increased the thrust.

?: Yes, sir.

18.51.41. Captain: Drop the nose.

18.51.47. Captain: Withstand.

The alarm goes off.

Flight engineer: Flaps are released with emergency ones.

Captain: Drop the nose.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.53.13. Captain: Raise your nose.

Captain: Traction.

Flight engineer: Increased.

Second pilot. This is one hundred nineteen and seven ... number two.

The alarm is triggered.

18.54.16. Captain: Left, left turn!

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

Flight engineer: Yes, one hundred and ten.

Captain: Left turn.

?: This is a hundred and nineteen and seven.

The alarm goes off.

Captain: Refine our position.

Flight engineer: Yes, sir, I will ask them.

Dispatcher Tokyo: Jal one hundred twenty three, you are five ... five ... forty five miles northwest of Haneda.

Flight engineer: Northwest of Haneda. How many miles ?!

Dispatcher Tokyo: Yes, got it. On our radar, you are 55 miles northwest of Haneda, 25 miles west of Kamogawa. Understand you, I will speak Japanese. We will provide you landing at any time. Base Yokota is also ready to accept you. Report your intentions.

18.54.40. Captain: Raise your nose.

18.54.47.Captain: Put your nose down ...

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.54.55. Flight engineer: They said that we are 25 west of Kamogawa.

Captain: Flaps all released?

18.55.04. Co-pilot: Yes, sir. Flaps 10.

18.55.15. Captain: Raise your nose.

Co-pilot: Yes, sir.

18.55.17. Captain: Lift nose ... Lift nose.

18.55.25. Captain: Raise your nose ...

18.55.42. Captain: Stop flaps.

?: Stop.

18.55.48. Captain: Hey, keep the flaps ... do not release completely.

?: Remove flaps, remove flaps, remove flaps ...

?: Remove flaps.

?: Yes, sir.

18.55.55. Captain: Traction.

Captain: Flaps.

Co-pilot: I removed.

Captain: (Inaudible.)

18.56.05. Captain: Lift nose ... Lift nose ... Thrust.

18.56.14. GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System): Reduce speed; climb, climb, climb, climb.

18.56.19. Captain: (Inaudible.)

GPWS: Climb, Climb.

18.56.23 (Clash.)

GPWS: Climb, Climb.

18.56.26 (Second strike.)

18.56.28 (End of recording.)

The crew fought for 30 minutes for the life of the aircraft and passengers. Trying to avoid a collision with the mountain, Takahama increased the thrust of the engines, but the effect turned out to be exactly the opposite of what was expected: the plane suddenly snubbed its nose and almost fell on the wing.And yet, using the maximum thrust of the engines and the release of flaps from the emergency electrical system, the crew managed to return the Boeing to horizontal flight. But success turned out to be temporary: the liner, deprived of a rudder, again lowered its nose and headed straight for the nearest summit. The rate of descent increased to 7.5 m / s. Takahama ordered to release flaps at an angle of 10 degrees and add momentum to the turbines. But this time, luck turned away from them. 70 miles northwest of Tokyo, the Boeing reached its peak and crashed into the wooded slope of Mount Otsutaka at an altitude of 4,780 feet (1,457 meters).

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  • How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people

    How negligence became a death sentence for 520 people