On Aug.12, 1985, Japan Airlines Flight 123 took off from Haneda Airport in Tokyo, bound for Osaka International Airport. Onboard were a mix of passengers — businessmen, families returning from Tokyo Disneyland and travelers visiting relatives for the Bon festival period.

Twelve minutes into the flight, as the plane reached 7,300 meters (24,000 feet), there was an explosion. A large part of the tail had broken off, severing all four hydraulic lines — which would have affected the plane's capacity to steer.

Captain Masami Takahama, an experienced pilot, attempted to fly the increasingly uncontrollable aircraft back to Haneda, but to no avail. The plane crashed into Osutaka Ridge in southern Gunma Prefecture, killing 520 of the 524 onboard.