Captain of JCG Plane ‘Confirmed with Crew Members’ about Permission to Enter Haneda Runway

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Investigators examine a Japan Coast Guard aircraft at Haneda Airport on Thursday following a fatal collision with a Japan Airlines jet on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old captain of a Japan Coast Guard aircraft that collided with a Japan Airlines jet on a runway at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport has told investigators that he had confirmed with other crew members that permission had been given to enter the runway, it has been learned.

The Japan Transport Safety Board is looking into communication among the JCG crew members on board.

According to communication records released by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and other sources, two minutes before the collision, an air traffic controller instructed the JCG aircraft to proceed to the holding point outside the runway and the JCG plane repeated the instruction, yet entered the runway. According to sources, the captain of the JCG plane told the investigators that instructions from the air traffic controller were heard by and confirmed with the crew on board.

It has been also learned that the captain said he had been unaware of the JAL jet’s landing. The communication records show that there was no direct communication from the air traffic control to inform the JCG about the JAL jet that was to land first.

The safety board began questioning air traffic controllers and other related parties on Saturday. The first round of questioning is expected to continue through Monday. The cockpit voice recorder of the JAL jet has been found, and the board recovered it on Saturday evening.

The government plans to announce emergency measures to prevent a recurrence of such incidents on Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Saturday that the cause of death of three JCG crew members — Yoshiki Ishida, 27, Makoto Uno, 47, and Wataru Tatewaki, 39 — was complete crush injury.