Japan Air Lines Cargo Flight 1045
Douglas DC-8-62AF (Japan Air Lines Cargo) AN1108405.jpg
A JAL Cargo DC-8, similar to the one involved in the crash
Date13 January 1977 (1977-01-13)
SummaryStall on takeoff due to pilot intoxication aggravated by airframe icing
SiteTed Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, United States
61°10′N 150°2′W / 61.167°N 150.033°W / 61.167; -150.033Coordinates: 61°10′N 150°2′W / 61.167°N 150.033°W / 61.167; -150.033
Aircraft typeDouglas DC-8-62AF
OperatorJAL Cargo (Japan Air Lines)
Flight originGrant County International Airport, Grant County, Washington, United States
StopoverTed Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, United States
DestinationHaneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan

Japan Air Lines Cargo Flight 1045 was a charter flight on January 13, 1977, from Grant County, Washington, United States to Tokyo, Japan with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska, United States. The flight crashed during the initial climb phase, shortly after takeoff from Anchorage due to pilot intoxication.[1][2][3] All of those on board, including three flight crew members and two cattle handlers, were killed in the crash.


The aircraft involved in the accident was a Douglas DC-8-62AF, equipped with four Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines; registered JA8054 to JAL Cargo, a subsidiary of Japan Air Lines. The aircraft had a total of 19,744 flight hours, of which 8,708 were since that last major inspection and 45 since the last check. Records showed the aircraft had been maintained within Japanese, American, and ICAO recommendations.[2]

Ice on the aircraft

Mechanics reported ice present on the inlet guide vanes, engine cowlings and engine bullet noses, but no ice was found on the aircraft surfaces. A mechanic recommended that the engine anti-icing system be used, but no maintenance was performed on the aircraft in Anchorage. Investigators suspected that ice on the airfoil or transducer may have caused the stall warning to fail. The ice present on the surface of the wings and leading edges could have reduced the angle of attack needed to produce a stall.[2]


On board the aircraft were three flight crew members, two cattle handlers, and live cattle being shipped to Japan as cargo.[1][4]

The cockpit crew consisted of:[2]: 22 

Pilot intoxication

The taxi driver who drove Captain Marsh to the airport told investigators that he seemed disoriented. At 04:50 local time a taxi dispatcher phoned JAL and warned of an intoxicated pilot. JAL responded by saying there seemed nothing unusual about the flight crew. Autopsies after the crash showed that the captain was heavily intoxicated, with the initial blood alcohol level 298 mg per 100 ml and a vitreous alcohol level of 310 mg per 100 ml taken twelve hours after the crash; the state of Alaska considers 100 mg per 100 ml legally unacceptable for driving. Of the thirteen people questioned who had spoken with Marsh before the flight, six stated he had been drinking or appeared to be drunk.[2]

Flight synopsis

The aftermath of the crash.
The aftermath of the crash.

At 05:15 the crew boarded the aircraft; the driver of the crew car stated: "...he was in good condition as far as ways I've seen him sometimes and I made that statement before I ever heard any rumors that he was supposedly drunk or had been partying or whatever." as to whether the pilot appeared intoxicated. Cockpit voice recorder (CVR) data showed that the crew began the prestart checklists at 06:09; CVR data showed the takeoff was normal until the aircraft slowed acceleration from VR to V2 speed; the aircraft stalled almost immediately after reaching V2 speed. At 06:35:39 AST, JAL Cargo Flight 1045 crashed at Anchorage International Airport shortly after takeoff from runway 24L. A witness reportedly saw the flight climb to approximately 100 feet above the ground, veer to the left, and then slide out of the air. All five people on board the aircraft perished in the crash.[1][2][5][6]


According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), flight 1045 crashed due to erroneous inputs to the flight controls, factors for such inputs being pilot intoxication and airframe icing. The NTSB noted that the two other flight crew members should have corrected the intoxicated pilot, Hugh L. Marsh, but did not.

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was a stall that resulted from the pilot's control inputs aggravated by airframe icing while the pilot was under the influence of alcohol. Contributing to the cause of this accident was the failure of the other flightcrew members to prevent the captain from attempting the flight."[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62AF JA8054 Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC)". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Japan Airlines, Company, Ltd., McDonnel-Douglas DC-8-62F, JA 8054, Anchorage, Alaska, January 13, 1977" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. January 16, 1979. NTSB-AAR-78-7. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Hagen, Jan U. (August 13, 2013). Confronting Mistakes: Lessons from the Aviation Industry when Dealing with Error. Springer. ISBN 9781137276186.
  4. ^ "Registration Details For JA8054 (Japan Airlines) DC-8-62AF". www.planelogger.com. PlaneLogger. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "Accidents JAL has caused other than Flight 123 Accident". Japan Airlines. Retrieved October 20, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "JAL Group's Approach to Safety" (PDF). p. 49. Retrieved July 8, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
External image
image icon Pre-accident picture of aircraft at Airliners.net