A near-collision involving two Japan Airlines planes on Jan. 31 was caused by a combination of communication mixups and maneuvering that contradicted orders from an automatic warning system, an investigative committee concluded Friday in an interim report.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee presented the report to Chikage Ogi, the land, infrastructure and transport minister.
It also submitted a three-point recommendation that urges the government to review current means of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, consider ways to train and educate controllers and conduct a study into how pilots react when collision warning systems are activated.
In a statement, Ogi said that the ministry will publicize new air control safety measures based on the report by the end of next week.
She also said the ministry will consider improving the current air control system so that automatic collision warnings help improve communication between pilots and controllers.
The accident took place 18 km south-southwest of Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, injuring 88 passengers and 12 crew members aboard JAL Flight 907, a jumbo jet heading for Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, from Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
The number of injured was initially reported as 42, but JAL has since revised the figure after more people reported slight injuries.
According to the report, the Boeing 747-400, which was ascending, followed an order from the air control center to descend.
The aircraft’s automatic warning system then prompted it to climb, but the pilot continued his descent, resulting in the near-collision with JAL Flight 958, a DC-10 which was heading for Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture from Pusan, South Korea, the report said.
It also noted that neither of the pilots responded to the air controller’s order.
to change course. The controller, who at the time was a trainee, occasionally confused the flight numbers in addressing the two aircraft, further confusing the situation.
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