• Kyodo


A training aircraft landed on its belly Wednesday at Obihiro airport in Hokkaido while practicing takeoffs and landings in a program run by the Transport Ministry’s Civil Aviation College, college officials said. No one was injured.

The A-36 Beechcraft, piloted by Hiroaki Kawamura, a 24-year-old student at the college’s Obihiro Branch Campus, landed on its belly on the runway around noon after its landing gear apparently failed to come down, the officials said.

After touching down, the plane slid to a stop on its side, they said.

Kawamura was flying alone and escaped injury, the officials said. The airport suspended operations after the accident, suspending four flights and rerouting two aircraft to other airports. Operations at Obihiro airport resumed at 2:55 p.m.

The officials said the student was engaged in “touch-and-go” training, in which trainees repeatedly take off and land without stopping.

In an accident at the airport in February 1998, a trainee suffered minor injuries after making an erroneous landing.

Tetsu Tabuchi, head of the Obihiro campus, promised to launch an investigation into the accident and to take measures to prevent a recurrence.