35 years ago today, Japan Airlines Flight 350 (JA8061) was a scheduled passenger flight from Fukuoka Airport, Japan to Haneda Airport, Japan. The McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61 was carrying 166 passengers & 8 crew members. 

JA8061, the accident aircraft involved.


The cockpit crew of Japan Airlines Flight 350 consisted of Captain Seiji Katagiri, 35. First Officer Yoshifumi, 33 and Flight Engineer Yoshimi Ozaki 48.

Japan Airlines Flight 350 took off from runway 16 at Fukuoka Airport at 07:34 local time. The aircraft climbed to the cruising altitude of 29,000 ft. At 08:22 the crew started their descent to 16,000 ft. After reaching 16,000 ft, they were cleared to descend down to 3000 ft. The aircraft was cleared for ILS runway 33R at Haneda Airport.

At 08:42, the aircraft descended through 1000 ft of an airspeed of 135 knots with the wind from a direction of 360deg at 20 knots. The co-pilot called out “500 ft” at 08:43:25 but the captain did not make the “stabilized” call-out as specified by JAL operational regulations. The airspeed decreased to 133 knots as the aircraft descended through 300ft at 08:43:50 and the co-pilot warned the captain that the aircraft was approaching decision height. At 08:43:56 the radio altimeter warning sounded, followed by the flight engineer calling out “200 ft”, which was the decision height, three seconds later.

At 08:44:01 the aircraft descended through 164 ft at 130 KIAS (Knots Indicated Air Speed). At that moment the captain canceled autopilot, pushed his controls forward and retarded the throttles to idle. The co-pilot tried to regain control but the aircraft crashed into the shallow water of Tokyo Bay, 510 meters short of the runway 33R threshold. The nose and the right-hand wing separated from the fuselage.

Among the 166 passengers & 8 crew members, 24 were killed in the crash. Katagiri, one of the first people to take a rescue boat, told rescuers that he was an office worker, to avoid being identified as the captain. Katagiri was later found to be suffering from a mental illness prior to the crash, which resulted in a decision that he was found not guilty by reasons of insanity. The has since been released from psychiatric care and lives near Mount Fuji.

Article By: @AirCrashMayday

Sources: AviationSafety, Wikipedia

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