Orient Thai B747 passes within 200m of Tokyo Tower
Just read this in the Japan paper after almost one month has passed since the incident. Anyone have any more information? Here is a link to the story but it is not very informative. Seems the crew was not familiar with the VOR DME 16L approach and over flew downtown Tokyo at 1230am. They were way off course to over fly the tower as it is in the heart of downtown.
Heard that they were cleared for a visual approach. The flightcrew however wasn't really familiar with such an approach at Haneda. Luckely they managed to line up for the rwy, and landed the aircraft. Heard that the captain probably will be suspended, and the rest of the crew will get a refresher course. Wonder why the controller(s) didn't jump into to help, when it was obvious that the 747 was flying over the city?
I can assure you it was pretty bloody close. I live about 400metres to the north of Tokyo Tower and it made a hell of a racket...enough to wake the dead which it obviously did by the number of lights that came on and faces that appeared in the windows of the adjacent apartment building.
I would hazard a guess that the JCAB won't be approving too many more charters by Orient Thai
"the guys at the front probably saw Tokyo Tower and were never at risk of actually hitting it........it's over 300 metres tall!"
At night time, and with hundreds of thousands of other lights in the Tokyo area, chances are it was Good Luck and not good management that they didn't hit it, because I very much doubt that they would have seen it.
This approach is not entirely dis-similar to the old IGS approach into Kai Tak, Hong Kong, inasmuch as the final approach course is at an acutely oblique angle to the runway, and even in daytime occasionally causes some problems - usually high descent rates, or overshooting the centreline.
I have to agree. I fly a flt that gets into HND around 1130pm. It is a round robin HND~KIX~HND. Tokyo Tower is not lit up at that time and all you have is the JCAB blinking red lights on top of the the tallest towers. It would be very easy to misjudge your position if you are not on course. This was a major crew erorr (CRM)in not briefing the approach and not knowing what to brief. A lot of us have not been to some of the airports that we land at. Do you go blind or do you insist on a full and comprehensive briefing. It's better to know before you go. I am not judging the crew I am only offering an oppinion. The uncanny thing is is that a lot of the Orient Thai B747s are ex JAL and have flown that approach a hundred times......too bad the airframes don't have a memory.
Have to ask...why are we not surprised at this type of operation from Orient Thai? A rogue operator at best, as other incidents have been reported here before. Doesn't say much for the Thai DCA, now does it?
A bad apple in a rotten crate does not make for confidence.