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All Nippon Airways Flight 60
Boeing 727-81, All Nippon Airways (ANA) JP6862123.jpg
An ANA 727-81, similar to the accident aircraft.
Accident
DateFebruary 4, 1966 (1966-02-04)
SummaryCrashed into Tokyo Bay; Cause undetermined[1]
SiteTokyo Bay, Japan
Aircraft
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-81
OperatorAll Nippon Airways
IATA flight No.NH60
ICAO flight No.ANA60
Call signALL NIPPON 8302[2]
RegistrationJA8302
Flight originChitose Airport
DestinationHaneda International Airport
Occupants133
Passengers126
Crew7
Fatalities133
Survivors0

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 60 (全日空60便, Zennikkū 60 Bin) was a Boeing 727-81 aircraft making a domestic commercial flight from Sapporo Chitose Airport to Tokyo Haneda International Airport. On February 4, 1966, all 133 people on board died when the plane mysteriously crashed into Tokyo Bay about 10.4 km (6.5 mi; 5.6 nmi) from Haneda in clear weather conditions while on a night approach. The accident was the worst involving a single aircraft and was also the deadliest accident in Japan at that time until Japan Air Lines Flight 123 crashed 19 years later which killed 520.

Passengers and crew

The aircraft carried 126 passengers and a crew of seven. Most of the passengers were returning from the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, 600 miles (970 km) north of Tokyo.

Accident description

Flying in clear weather, ANA Flight 60 was only a few minutes away from Haneda Airport when its pilot radioed he would land visually without instruments. The aircraft then vanished from radar screens.

Villagers along the shore and the pilot of another plane said they saw flames in the sky at about 7 p.m., the moment the plane was due to land. Fishermen and Japanese Defense Force boats picked up bodies from the murky waters of the bay. They had retrieved approximately 20 bodies when an airline spokesman announced the fuselage had been found with scores of bodies inside. He said this led to the belief that all aboard were dead. Grappling hooks from a Coast Guard boat brought up the wreckage.[3]

The tail of the aircraft, including at least two of the three engines, the vertical stabilizer, and the horizontal stabilizer were recovered mostly intact. The rest of the aircraft virtually disintegrated on impact. The death toll of 133 made the crash the world's deadliest single-aircraft accident at the time, as well as the second-deadliest aviation accident behind the 1960 New York mid-air collision. The death toll on a single aircraft would eventually be surpassed when a Lockheed C-130B Hercules was shot down in May 1968, killing 155 people followed by Japan Air Lines Flight 123 which crashed 19 years later outside Tokyo killing 520. The cause for the accident was never determined since this aircraft was never equipped with CVR and Black Box.

Series of crashes

This accident was one of five fatal air disasters—four commercial and one military—in Japan in 1966. One month after ANA Flight 60's demise, Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402, a Douglas DC-8, struck the approach lights and a seawall at Haneda, killing 64 of 72 on board. Less than 24 hours later, BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707, was photographed as it taxied past the still-smoldering wreckage of the Canadian jet, then broke up a couple of hours later whilst in flight above Mt. Fuji – because of clear-air turbulence – shortly after departure, killing all 124 passengers and crew. A Japan Air Lines Convair 880-22M crashed and killed five people on August 26. Finally, All Nippon Airways Flight 533 crashed and killed 50 people on November 13. The combined effect of these five accidents shook public confidence in commercial aviation in Japan, and both Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways were forced to cut back some domestic service due to reduced demand.[4]

References

  1. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ Yanagida, Kunio (1986). マッハの恐怖 [Mach's Fear] (in Japanese). Shinchoshya. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-4-10124905-6.
  3. ^ "133 Japanese on Airliner Die As It Crashes Into Tokyo Bay; Boeing 727 Was Approaching Airport--Accident Worst Involving One Plane". The New York Times. February 5, 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Japan's airlines cut Tokyo-Osaka runs". The New York Times. Reuters. 1966-03-19. p. 58. ISSN 0362-4331. Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways announced today a reduction in their flights between Tokyo and Osaka following three air crashes in the last six weeks.