Airliner of ANA Subsidiary Makes Two Emergency Go-Arounds at Yonago Airport in Tottori Pref.; JTSB Investigates, Calls Incident ‘Serious’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yonago Airport terminal building

An airliner belonging to ANA Wings Co., a subsidiary of ANA Holdings Inc., made two emergency go-arounds — which occur when the pilot aborts and then reattempts a landing — at Yonago Airport in Tottori Prefecture, on April 7. Transportation authorities are investigating the incident.

The airliner’s ground proximity warning system (GPWS) sounded as the plane made its descent, indicating abnormal proximity to the ground.

The warning twice prompted the pilot to abort the landing and make a go-around just before touching down.

Though no one was injured, the Japan Transport Safety Board said the incident was serious and might have resulted in a crash. It began investigating the cause of the incident on Friday.

According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and the airline, the ANA 389 flight departed from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport for Yonago Airport.

The plane was a Boeing 737-800 carrying 138 passengers and crew members.

It descended from the east of the airport shortly after 9:20 p.m. on April 7. Its approach was at an odd angle, forcing the pilot to make a go-around.

After circling over Lake Nakaumi and other sites by the airport, the plane reattempted its landing from the west. However, the pilot began descending too early to maintain a sufficient altitude, and the GPWS issued another warning about 85 meters above the lake.

The pilot eventually landed the plane successfully, bringing it into the airport at 9:34 p.m.

The transport ministry received a report immediately after the incident and began conducting interviews and other investigations.

The results of the investigations led the ministry to find that the case constituted a serious incident in which aircraft crew executed an emergency maneuver during flight in order to avoid crashing into the water or making contact with the ground, as provided in the Regulation for Enforcement of the Civil Aeronautics Law.