• Kyodo

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A Japan Airlines DC-10 bound for Bangkok returned to Nagoya airport Wednesday morning due to engine trouble that caused debris to fall on houses and factories in the nearby city of Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, airport officials and police said.

No injuries were reported on the ground or from the roughly 200 people on board Flight 737, police said.

They said they have received reports that 20 to 30 small pieces of debris fell to the ground after a loud bang was heard overhead.

Some of the debris fell onto several cars at a gas station, breaking windshields and causing other damage, they said.

A man in the city burned his hand touching a metal strip that appeared to be from one of the plane’s engines, police said.

Airport officials said the engine on the plane’s right wing began experiencing trouble at about 11:05 a.m. The airplane landed safely at the airport at around 11:50 a.m.

JAL officials at Nagoya airport said they believe parts inside the engine were damaged and hit a turbine blade, causing debris to fly out.

JAL public relations officials issued an apology and said the airline will investigate the cause of the mishap.

Preventing confusion

The transport ministry unveiled measures Wednesday to prevent confusion in air traffic control management following the Jan. 31 near-collision of two Japan Airlines jumbo jets over Shizuoka Prefecture that injured 100 passengers and crew members.

The ministry will allow a controller to temporarily add an additional alphabet code when communicating with aircraft if their is confusion over the call signs of some planes in certain air space.

The ministry will also propose to other countries that international rules be made for such temporary call signs, probably at meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The near-collision of the Boeing 747-400D, call sign JAL 907, and the DC-10-40, called JAL 958, was in part caused by confused controllers who mistook one plane’s call sign for the other.

The measures, compiled in a 27-page report, also call for improved air traffic controller training. , including more exchanges between pilots and controllers.

The ministry will also check controllers’ proficiency once a year, and introduce more instructors and training simulators for controllers.

The report concludes that traffic control systems should be remodeled to alert controllers if an automatic collision warning system aboard a plane activates, and to show a variety of information, now shown in text, in graphics on a screen.

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