Japanese media reports another incident at Tokyo Haneda Airport, where a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft collided with a ground service vehicle. What information is noteworthy?

According to Japan’s “Yomiuri Shimbun” on January 6th, local time, around 6 pm on January 4th, another incident occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport: a Japan Coast Guard aircraft parked between the International Terminal and Runway B at the airport collided with a ground handling vehicle belonging to a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. At the time of the incident, there were no people on board the Coast Guard aircraft, and the wing sustained damage, rendering it unable to fly. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is conducting an investigation into this incident. The Coast Guard aircraft involved in the accident is said to be a plane produced by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in the United States and belongs to the Haneda Aviation Base of the Japan Coast Guard. It is reported to be equipped with high-performance radar and infrared detection equipment, capable of long-distance flights between Japan and the United States. (CCTV International News)

Recurring Incidents at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport: A Deeper Look into Causes

Once again, an aircraft from the Japan Coast Guard is involved, and again at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. This occurrence can no longer be explained by coincidence, as having such a double coincidence in such a short time span seems unreasonable.

Many people previously attributed the cause of collisions to the immense throughput of Haneda Airport, being the world’s third-busiest airport, suggesting that pilots make errors amidst the complex takeoff trajectories due to the heavy traffic. However, Haneda has been among the busiest for years without similar incidents. The recent concentrated occurrence of two incidents certainly suggests other factors at play.

The underlying cause needs to be identified from another similarity. Since it’s not directly Haneda’s fault, it likely lies with the responsibilities of the Japan Coast Guard. Their recent increased presence around Haneda Airport is due to the major earthquake in Japan, with the aircraft being involved in disaster relief missions. These flights also carried specialized disaster relief personnel. Although in this recent incident, the aircraft was empty and got hit by an airport operational vehicle, it might be due to the sudden inclusion of Japan Coast Guard aircraft needing coordination, which Haneda Airport failed to promptly adapt to. Additionally, the Coast Guard’s pilots were possibly unclear about the specific rules of Haneda Airport, including taking off instructions or where and when to park, leading to confusion.

As a result, airport staff proceeded by the book, and with poor communication from the Coast Guard’s side, assumptions were made about understanding the airport’s instructions. The airport did not anticipate that the system’s aircraft were not yet accustomed to the airport’s operations, nor could they understand their rapid and somewhat unclear instructions. This is somewhat akin to a pharmacy’s new nurse misinterpreting the doctor’s scribbled prescription, resulting in the wrong medication being dispensed. However, the mistake isn’t realized until the patient has an adverse reaction. Even then, it’s not immediately clear whether the mistake was due to the doctor’s prescription or the nurse’s dispensing.

Even if it’s determined that the nurse dispensed the wrong medication, it’s not immediately clear whether it was due to a lack of professional ability or misunderstanding of the handwriting. So, in the initial investigations, there is a blame game between the airport and pilots, each with their justifications. But with the recurrence of the incident, it’s likely that people will realize that there has been a communication breakdown.

Series of Mishaps at Haneda Airport Raises Concerns

NHK is currently broadcasting live airport disaster recovery operations. Another Japan Coast Guard aircraft has been involved in an accident. This time, NHK is reportedly overwhelmed and passing the baton to Yomiuri News for further coverage…

A few days ago, an aircraft parked on the runway was severely damaged. Now, another aircraft parked outside the terminal has had its wing shattered. It seems like there’s a push to move the Coast Guard out of Haneda Airport, questioning the future of these Coast Guard flights…

The previous collision at Haneda Airport affected over 150,000 people, with All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines canceling at least 800 domestic flights up until the 5th. More than 150,000 passengers' travel plans were disrupted, with more flight cancellations expected after the 6th. Cleanup operations for the crashed aircraft are ongoing, with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism predicting the runway’s return to service by the 8th. Meanwhile, airport staff are being reassured to prevent further errors, and yet another incident has occurred… There’s speculation whether the staff had enough rest, as ground service drivers have joined in amidst unclear communications between the tower and pilots.

In the previous incident, the pilot insisted they were following orders. Currently, the Japan Transport Safety Board has revealed that aviation accident investigators began interviewing air traffic controllers on the 6th. It’s suspected that during the prior accident, another aircraft entered the runway intended for a landing aircraft, activating a warning feature on the display for the controllers, which went unnoticed. Since the 6th, personnel have been assigned to monitor these warning displays in real time to prevent similar incidents.

Before any conclusion was reached from the previous accident, a ground service vehicle from a subsidiary of Japan Airlines has caused another fiasco, deeply frustrating airport management and leading to severe criticism of Japan Airlines. However, this incident has ironically relieved the Japan Coast Guard as it highlights that even without their personnel involved, accidents are occurring, suggesting systemic issues beyond individual blame. It seems like the Coast Guard might have to consider using American military bases for their operations in the future.

After some thought, I decided to fold a few origami cranes and give them to them!

Incident at Tokyo Haneda Airport: Collision between Japan Coast Guard Aircraft and Ground Vehicle

Who collided with whom?

According to reports from Japanese newspaper “Yomiuri Shimbun” on January 6, a new incident occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport. On the evening of January 4th, at around 6 PM local time, a collision took place between a Japan Coast Guard aircraft parked between the International Terminal and Runway B at the airport and a ground vehicle operated by a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. The Coast Guard aircraft had no one on board at the time of the incident, but its wing suffered damage, rendering it unable to fly. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is currently investigating the accident.

“What does it mean that there was no one on board the Coast Guard aircraft at the time of the incident?”

Does it mean that there was no one on the plane at all? In that case, the statement “Japan Coast Guard aircraft collided with a ground vehicle” seems inappropriate. If the plane was parked, how could an accident happen? Could it be that the pilot didn’t engage the parking brake, causing the plane to move and collide?

Or does “there was no one on board the Coast Guard aircraft at the time of the incident” mean that there were no additional passengers on the plane? This interpretation is equally puzzling…

The Involved Japan Coast Guard Aircraft

Regardless of who collided with whom, the aircraft involved in the incident was a “Gulfstream V” aircraft belonging to the Japan Coast Guard.

This aircraft is a business jet developed and manufactured by the American company “Gulfstream.” Japan Coast Guard purchased two of these aircraft for transporting officials and essential supplies. Additionally, both of these “Gulfstream V” aircraft operated by the Coast Guard were specially modified and equipped with high-performance aviation surveillance radar, infrared search and monitoring equipment, and Ritter devices (equipment used to secure and store emergency patients on stretchers inside the aircraft). Therefore, the Coast Guard’s “Gulfstream” business jets can also be used for maritime patrol, surveillance, and search and rescue missions.

Above: Japan Coast Guard “Gulfstream V” aircraft, serial number JA500A.

Above: Japan Coast Guard “Gulfstream V” aircraft, serial number JA501A.

The Japan Coast Guard website indicates that JA500A is stationed at Tokyo Haneda. Whether JA501A is also stationed there is unclear.

A Slight Connection Between the Incident Aircraft and China

As mentioned earlier, the two “Gulfstream” aircraft of the Coast Guard were specially modified for maritime patrol and surveillance.

According to Japanese media reports, the captain of the incident aircraft had been on a mission to monitor a Chinese research vessel near “Chongniujiao” the day before the collision.

Note: “Chongniujiao,” known as “Chong Niu Dao” in Japan, is an island reef that does not directly involve sovereignty disputes. However, China and South Korea consider it a “reef,” while Japan considers it an “island.” Therefore, Japan and neighboring countries have a dispute over the classification of this reef, which involves issues of maritime sovereignty and economic rights, a common type of dispute in international maritime disputes.

PS: The Japan Coast Guard also operates three “Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft” developed from the MQ-9B “Reaper” unmanned drone.

Collision at Tokyo Haneda Airport: Japan Coast Guard Aircraft and Ground Vehicle

A Japan Coast Guard aircraft parked between the International Terminal and Runway B at the airport collided with a ground vehicle operated by a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. There was no one on board the Coast Guard aircraft at the time of the incident, and the wing suffered damage, making it currently unable to fly. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is conducting an investigation into this incident.

However, this description reminds me of an answer I saw on Zhihu (a Chinese question-and-answer website): “Why not deal with a parking violation first?”

Based on my vague memory from the subject one exam 18 months ago, in a collision between a moving vehicle and a stationary vehicle, the moving vehicle is usually considered at fault.

It appears, if I haven’t misunderstood, that this description implies that the ground vehicle is entirely at fault.

Of course, currently, Tokyo Haneda Airport seems to be experiencing a series of unfortunate events. First, the increased demand for airport facilities due to material assistance needs from the January 1st earthquake in the Noto region; then, on January 2nd, a Japan Airlines passenger plane collided with “Suinagi 1,” a plane prepared for earthquake relief. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the passengers and crew of the Japan Airlines plane, but only one of the six crew members on Suinagi 1 survived. For the airport, the most direct impact is the closure of Runway C at Haneda Airport, which is undoubtedly an additional burden on its already strained capacity. Due to the aircraft collision incident, from the 5th to the 7th of January, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled a total of 590 flights, affecting about 100,000 travelers.

In a situation where capacity is almost operating at overload, similar ground staff errors leading to aircraft damage are like a charging “gray rhino”, except that this time the gray rhino collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft.

Another Incident Involving Japan Coast Guard Aircraft at Haneda Airport

Oh? Japan Coast Guard aircraft again?

Has the Japan Coast Guard had issues with Haneda Airport before? It’s quite interesting~~

But this time, there was no one on board the aircraft. In other words, the aircraft was not in a state ready for takeoff; it was parked. So, it was the ground vehicle at the airport that collided with the aircraft. Is the title of this incident somewhat inappropriate? Suggest modification.

Only 2 days have passed since the previous incident at Haneda Airport (the aircraft collision incident occurred on January 2, and this incident happened on January 4). It’s likely that the wreckage of the previous incident hadn’t been cleared away when this accident occurred, right?

Having two consecutive incidents at Haneda Airport in such a short period of time makes people suspect that there might be a problem with the airport’s management and that the ground personnel may not be following proper procedures.

Generally, airports have strict routes for ground vehicles. Passengers who have taken shuttle buses at the airport know that many times, even for short distances, the shuttle buses must strictly follow established routes. Even if it means taking a longer route, it must be followed, and there are strict regulations on parking locations. Deviating from the designated routes and parking locations is not allowed. This is to prevent accidents caused by vehicles not following the rules. With a wide field of vision and high speeds, accidents can easily happen, and colliding with other vehicles is one thing, but colliding with an aircraft is a big issue.

The incident occurred around 6 PM when the sky was relatively dark. The driver and safety personnel of the ground vehicle may not have followed the required observation and confirmation procedures before starting their work, which led to the collision with the aircraft. Fortunately, there were no personnel on board the aircraft, and apart from some damage to the aircraft’s wing, there were no other issues.

Nation’s Prosperity Through Difficulties

Airplanes have collided with each other before, and now it’s just a car colliding with an airplane, what’s the big deal? It shows that they have learned from their mistakes and significantly reduced the damage, demonstrating the management capability of developed countries. Just a few days ago, in the historic early morning market fire in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, the disaster response plan was to watch as all 200 shops burned to the ground and then extinguish the fire. Can your country remain as composed as this?

Another Incident at Tokyo Haneda Airport - Collision between Truck and Patrol Jet

Tokyo Haneda Airport has experienced yet another incident within just a few days.

In this recent accident, the main characters were as follows:

  • Protagonist A: A Gulfstream jet registered as “LAJ501,” belonging to the Japan Coast Guard’s Haneda Aviation Base. This aircraft can be considered as the property of the Japan Coast Guard (although it is not the same one involved in the previous incident, as it had been retired earlier).

  • Protagonist B: A cargo handling truck contracted by a subsidiary of Japan Airlines for loading and unloading goods.

The incident occurred on the evening of January 4th, on a tarmac located between the international terminal of Tokyo Haneda Airport and Runway B. Protagonist B, apparently attempting to test the capabilities of the Japan Coast Guard’s aircraft, collided with Protagonist A, the Gulfstream jet “LAJ501.”

As a result of the collision, LAJ501 sustained damage to its fuselage and wing edges, including cracks. It is unlikely to be operational for some time, and the timeline for its return to service remains uncertain.

Fortunately, there were no injuries as there were no passengers or crew on board LAJ501 at the time of the incident. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has categorized this incident as an occurrence within the airport restricted area and has initiated an investigation. The release date of the investigation results is yet to be determined.

Tokyo International Airport, also known as Tokyo Haneda Airport, is a major international aviation hub with the highest passenger traffic in Japan. With two incidents occurring in a short period, questions may arise about airport management and oversight.

Furthermore, the Gulfstream LAJ501 jet is manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in the United States and is equipped with advanced radar and infrared detection systems, making it capable of long-distance flights between Japan and the United States. The Japan Coast Guard deployed two LAJ501 aircraft at the Haneda Aviation Base since 2005 for prompt mission execution.

It’s quite unexpected to see two consecutive incidents involving the Japan Coast Guard’s LAJ501 jet within such a short span, raising concerns about its notoriety.

One after another, accidents keep happening.

I’m starting to have trouble understanding it.

And they’re all related to units associated with the sea.

I hope it’s not someone bringing bad luck to seahorses…

The third district of the Japan Coast Guard in Oita, in just a few days, had two of its three fixed-wing aircraft damaged…

The Japan Coast Guard’s Haneda Aviation Base is located at Haneda Airport, and at this rate, the next four helicopters may also be in trouble.

Passersby at the Fukuryuji River embankment: Maritime Records - The Operational System of the Japan Coast Guard

Oh, is the frequency this high?

I’m having a hard time coming up with jokes anymore.

It seems like it’s not just the kids who won over China in that summer camp in Japan back then who grew up. Not only did they grow up, but they all went to work at Haneda Airport and the Maritime Safety Agency.

The accident frequency is a bit too high.

Phase Two: Perhaps something has happened, but we should not take action…

Let’s have a ranking of military strength:

  • Japanese Self-Defense Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces
  • Ukrainian Armed Forces
  • Israeli IDF (Israeli Defense Forces)
  • NATO Forces
  • The so-called “God’s Army” of the United States (omitted for clarity)…

Japan clearly possesses the spirit of the Kamikaze suicide attacks.

Of course, there are also Hamas and Hezbollah militants…

And there are North Korea and South Korean artillery units…

Let’s not mention the PLA (People’s Liberation Army); we are advocates of peace, only conducting exercises, providing disaster relief… and issuing arrest warrants.