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Japan Air Lines Flight 715
日本航空クアラルンプール墜落事故
JA8051, the aircraft involved in the accident
Occurrence
Date27 September 1977
SummaryControlled flight into terrain due to pilot error
SiteNear Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, Malaysia
Aircraft
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-8
OperatorJapan Air Lines
RegistrationJA8051
Flight originTokyo International Airport, Tokyo, Japan
1st stopoverKai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
Last stopoverSultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, Malaysia
DestinationSingapore International Airport, Singapore
Passengers69
Crew10
Fatalities34
Injuries45
Survivors45

Japan Air Lines Flight 715 (日本航空 715便, Nihonkōkū 715 Bin) was an airplane that crashed in Malaysia on 27 September 1977.[1][2] It was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, registration JA8051, on a flight from Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, to Singapore International Airport in Singapore, with stopovers at Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Malaysia. Ten crew and 69 passengers were on board.[3] It was the second-deadliest aviation disaster to occur in Malaysia at the time.[4]

Aircraft

The aircraft involved was a Douglas DC-8-62H (serial number 46152 and factory 550), released in 1971, and delivered to Japan Air Lines on 23 August. It was registered as JA8051. The aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B turbofan engines.[5]

Accident

Two hours into the flight, air traffic control at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport told flight 715 to start its approach and land on runway 15. The flight crew started their approach, putting the landing gear down and extending the flaps. The aircraft descended below minimum descent altitude of 750 feet (230 m), then at 300 feet (91 m), it crashed into the side of a hill 4 miles from the airport, near an estate called Elmina Estate.[6] The aircraft broke on impact, and a fire erupted, which was extinguished by airport rescue and firefighting.[7]

The accident killed 34 people: eight of the 10 crew and 26 of the 69 passengers. Forty-five survivors, among the passengers and crew, were taken to a hospital.[8] The remains from the crash could be found in the soil surrounding the estate until 2011. Most of the land now is being converted to developments.[9]

A memorial was built in the Japanese cemetery in Malaysia.[10]

The crash was the second-deadliest aviation disaster to occur in Malaysia until the crash of Malaysian Airline System Flight 653, two months later, with 100 fatalities.[4]

Investigation

The Malaysian Civil Aviation Bureau investigated the accident. At the time of the crash, the weather around the airport was poor and the aircraft was on a VOR approach. The investigation determined that the cause of the accident was the captain descending below the minimum descent altitude without having the runway in sight, and continuing the descent, causing the aircraft to crash before reaching the airport. The flight crew loss of sight of the airport due to bad weather, which also contributed to the accident. In addition, the first officer did not challenge the captain for violating the regulations.[9]

References

  1. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H JA8051 Kuala Lumpur Subang International Airport (KUL)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  2. ^ "A body part of the Japan Airlines 715 is seen a day after the crash..." Getty Images. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  3. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H JA8051 Kuala Lumpur Subang International Airport (KUL)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H JA8051 Kuala Lumpur Subang International Airport (KUL)". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  5. ^ "JA8051 Japan Airlines Douglas DC-8-62H - cn 46152 / ln 550". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  6. ^ Nadeswaran, R. (27 September 2020). "NST175: Japan Airlines crash changed my life". New Straits Times. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  7. ^ Thuraisingam, K. (15 October 2017). "Malaysian Civil Defence officer remembers the JAL plane crash of 1977". The Star. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  8. ^ "45 Survive Fiery Malaysia Jet Crash". Desert Sun. 27 September 1977. Retrieved 12 March 2021 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  9. ^ a b "Accidents JAL has caused other than Flight 123 Accident". JAPAN AIRLINES Corporate Information. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  10. ^ "マレーシア日本人墓地を訪ねて" [Visit a Japanese cemetery in Malaysia]. www.eva.hi-ho.ne.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 September 2019.