Monday, March 23, 2009

FedEx plane crashes on landing at Narita airport : pilot, co-pilot killed


NARITA — A FedEx cargo plane crash-landed and burst into flames early Monday morning at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, killing the two U.S. crew members aboard and causing widespread flight disruption at Japan’s largest international gateway.


Transport ministry and other investigators believe the accident was partly caused by strong winds buffeting the MD-11 aircraft as it attempted to land at around 6:50 a.m. Winds of up to 72 kilometers per hour were blowing in the vicinity of the airport at the time.

Before landing, airport traffic controllers warned the plane of the possibility of wind shear—a condition in which wind speed and direction suddenly change—up to at an altitude of 600 meters, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.

It is the first fatal aircraft accident at Narita airport since it opened in 1978, according to the airport operating company.

The airport’s main A Runway, on which the cargo plane touched down, was closed in the wake of the accident, while the B Runway is operating. A total of 35 flights, mostly international and including those heading to New York, have been canceled and 18 arriving flights have been rerouted to other airports, the transport ministry said.

The aircraft, Flight 80 from Guangzhou, China, had flammable liquid aboard, according to the transport ministry. It took firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze, which completely destroyed the aircraft.

Two men were rescued from the cockpit at around 8 a.m. but were confirmed dead at a nearby hospital, the Chiba prefectural police said.

The police said they confirmed with FedEx that the crew members of the flight were Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, the pilot, and Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, the co-pilot—both U.S. citizens.

Video footage showed the plane touching down on its rear wheels and its nose slamming into the runway.

The plane bounced and its left wing hit the ground, bursting into flames. It then flopped over and veered off the runway with flames coming from the center of the fuselage.

Source : Japan Today

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Scary incident, very bad landing.very strong winds they say. RIP pilots. God bless u both

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