NARITA, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Narita International Airport reopened its main runway Tuesday morning, a day after a fatal FedEx cargo plane crash forced its closure.
But flight schedules at the country’s largest international gateway remained disrupted.
Meanwhile, the transport ministry said it is highly likely the crew lost control of the FedEx MD-11 due to wind shear — a condition in which wind speed and direction suddenly change — that hit the plane moments before it touched down, sources said.
Winds of about 72 kph were blowing mainly from the northwest at the time of the accident, according to the investigation by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.
Twelve aircraft that landed between 6 a.m. and the time of the accident landed safely.
The FedEx jet bounced violently on the runway and landed upside down as it burst into flames at around 6:50 a.m. Monday, killing the U.S. pilot and copilot.
The 4,000-meter runway, designated runway A, the longer of the airport’s two runways, was immediately closed, causing international flights using jumbo jets to be canceled.
The cancellations forced some 600 travelers to stay overnight at the airport. Water, snacks and sleeping bags were distributed to them.
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