Japanese media reports another incident at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. A Japan Coast Guard aircraft collided with a ground service vehicle. What information is worth noting?

On January 6th, as reported by Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun, around 6:00 PM local time on January 4th, another incident occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport. A Japan Coast Guard aircraft, parked between the international terminal and runway B, collided with a ground operation vehicle from a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. At the time of the incident, there were no people on board the Coast Guard aircraft, but the wing sustained damage and is now unable to fly. The Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is currently conducting an investigation into this accident. The Coast Guard aircraft involved in the accident is said to be produced by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a U.S. company, and belongs to the Japan Coast Guard Haneda Aviation Base. It is reported to be equipped with high-performance radar and infrared detection devices, capable of long-distance flights between Japan and the United States. (CCTV International News)

Investigating the Repeated Mishaps at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

Once again, it’s the aircraft of the Japan Coast Guard, and once again, it’s Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. This incident cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence, especially with two such coincidences happening in such a short span of time. It simply doesn’t seem rational.

Many have attributed the cause of the collision to Haneda Airport being the world’s third-busiest, suggesting that the immense throughput led to pilot errors in the complex takeoff trajectories. However, Haneda has been among the world’s busiest airports for years without similar incidents. The fact that such incidents have occurred twice in quick succession indicates there must be other reasons involved.

The reason, it appears, lies in another commonality. Since it’s not the fault of Haneda Airport, the responsibility likely falls on the Japan Coast Guard. Their increased recent presence at Haneda is due to the previous major earthquake in Japan. These aircraft were deployed for disaster relief, and although the plane involved in this particular incident was unmanned and hit by an airport service vehicle, the sudden inclusion of Coast Guard planes needing coordination likely caught Haneda off guard. The Coast Guard pilots were also likely unfamiliar with the specific regulations of Haneda Airport, including instructions for takeoff or where and when to park.

As a result, there was a clash between the standard procedures of the airport staff and the miscommunication with the Coast Guard aircraft. The pilots thought they understood the airport’s instructions, while the airport staff didn’t anticipate the system’s inability to adapt quickly to the new operations and couldn’t understand their fast, unclear instructions. This situation is somewhat akin to a new nurse in a pharmacy misinterpreting a doctor’s illegible prescription, leading to the wrong medication being dispensed. But until a patient suffers the consequences, no one realizes the mistake. Even then, it’s not immediately clear whether the error was due to the doctor’s incorrect prescription or the nurse’s misinterpretation.

Even if it’s established that the nurse made the error, it’s still not immediately apparent whether it was due to a lack of professional skills or simply misreading. Therefore, in the initial investigations, both the airport and the pilots pointed fingers at each other, each with their own valid points. However, with the recurrence of the incident, it might become apparent that the issue lies in a failure of communication between the two parties.

Chaos at Haneda Airport: Series of Accidents Involving Coast Guard Planes

NHK is currently broadcasting live from the airport, covering a grim task of retrieving bodies.

Another incident has occurred involving a Japan Coast Guard aircraft, and this time NHK is expressing utter disbelief. The Yomiuri Shimbun is also reporting on the incident…

Just a few days ago, a senior pilot’s plane was destroyed while parked on the runway. Now, a junior pilot’s aircraft, parked outside the terminal, has been hit and its wing damaged. It seems like the Japan Coast Guard is being pushed out of Haneda Airport. The question arises: Is there any future left for Coast Guard flights here?

The previous collision at Haneda Airport affected over 150,000 people. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines had cancelled at least 800 domestic flights by the 5th. More than 150,000 travelers were impacted, and it’s expected that many flights will be cancelled after the 6th. The cleanup of the crashed aircraft is ongoing, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism predicts the runway will be back in use by the 8th. The airport staff have been reassured not to be anxious to avoid further errors, but now, another incident… There are suspicions that the staff might not have had sufficient rest, with misunderstandings still unresolved between the control tower and the captains, and now ground service drivers have joined the fray.

In the previous incident, the captain insisted he was just following orders. The Japan Transport Safety Board revealed that aviation accident investigators started questioning air traffic controllers on the 6th. The current theory is that while another aircraft was entering the runway being used for landing, the warning system on the display screen had been activated, but the air traffic controller failed to notice it. Starting from the morning of the 6th, the Ministry has arranged for personnel to monitor these warning displays in real time to prevent similar incidents.

While the previous accident is still under investigation, a ground service vehicle driver from a subsidiary of Japan Airlines has added to the airport’s woes, driving the airport management to despair and causing severe criticism towards Japan Airlines. The Coast Guard, on the other hand, feels somewhat vindicated, as their personnel were not involved in this latest incident. It’s ironic that the Coast Guard aircraft were not even present, yet another collision occurred. It seems that Coast Guard pilots, who hold the rank of lieutenant junior grade, are not being respected. Looking ahead, they might have no choice but to shamelessly seek refuge at U.S. military base airports.

After some thought, I decided to fold a thousand paper cranes to give to them!

Incident at Tokyo Haneda Airport - What to Watch For

Who Collided with Whom?

According to sources cited by Japanese newspaper “Yomiuri Shimbun” on January 6, around 6:00 PM local time on January 4, another incident occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport. A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) aircraft parked between the International Terminal and Runway B collided with a ground maintenance vehicle operated by a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. The JMSDF aircraft had no personnel on board at the time, and its wing sustained a crack due to the collision, rendering it incapable of flying. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is currently conducting an investigation into this incident.

What does it mean when they say there was “no one on board the JMSDF aircraft”?

Does it mean there were no passengers on the aircraft? In that case, the statement “Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft collided with a ground maintenance vehicle” might not be entirely accurate. After all, accidents can happen even when an aircraft is parked. Could it be that the aircraft’s pilot forgot to engage the parking brake, allowing the aircraft to move and collide?

Or does “no one on board the JMSDF aircraft” mean that there were no additional crew members or passengers on board? This interpretation is equally puzzling.

The Involved JMSDF Aircraft

Regardless of who collided with whom, the aircraft involved in the incident is the “Gulfstream V” of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

This aircraft is a business jet developed and manufactured by the American company “Gulfstream Aerospace.” Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force purchased two of these aircraft for the transport of high-ranking officials and the delivery of important supplies. Furthermore, both of the JMSDF’s “Gulfstream V” aircraft have been specially modified with high-performance aviation surveillance radar, infrared search and monitoring equipment, and a Ritter device (used to secure emergency patients on stretchers inside the aircraft). As a result, these JMSDF “Gulfstream” business jets can also be used for maritime patrols, surveillance, and search and rescue missions.

Images above: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force “Gulfstream V” aircraft with registration number JA500A (1st aircraft) and JA501A (2nd aircraft).

According to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force website, JA500A is based at Tokyo Haneda, but it’s unclear whether JA501A is also stationed there.

A Slight Connection Between the Incident Aircraft and China

As mentioned earlier, the JMSDF’s two “Gulfstream” aircraft have been specially modified for maritime patrols and missions.

According to Japanese media reports, the day before the incident, the captain of the aircraft was involved in monitoring a Chinese research vessel near the “Ogasawara Islands.”

Note: The Ogasawara Islands, known as the “Bonin Islands” in English, are not directly involved in sovereignty disputes. However, Japan and its neighboring countries have differing views on the classification of these islands, with China and South Korea considering them as “reefs” while Japan sees them as “islands.” This dispute has implications for maritime sovereignty and economic development rights, a common theme in international maritime disputes.

PS: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force also operates three “Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft” developed from the MQ-9B “Reaper” unmanned drone.

Aircraft Collision at Tokyo Haneda Airport

An incident occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport where a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft parked between the International Terminal and Runway B collided with a ground maintenance vehicle operated by a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. At the time of the incident, there was no one on board the JMSDF aircraft. The collision resulted in a wing crack, rendering the aircraft incapable of flying. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is currently conducting an investigation into this incident.

However, this description brings to mind a previous answer seen on Zhihu: “Why not handle a parking violation first?”

Based on my vague recollection from the subject one exam 18 months ago: when a moving vehicle collides with a stationary vehicle, the moving vehicle is typically considered fully responsible.

If I understand correctly, this description suggests that the ground maintenance vehicle is fully responsible for the collision.

Of course, Tokyo Haneda Airport seems to be facing a series of unfortunate events: first, the material assistance demand resulting from the January 1 earthquake in the Noto region increased the airport’s capacity requirements. Then, on January 2, a Japan Airlines passenger plane collided with “Suien No. 1,” which was preparing for earthquake relief tasks. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the passengers and crew of the Japan Airlines plane, but only one of the six crew members on “Suien No. 1” survived. For the airport, the most direct impact was the suspension of Runway C at Haneda Airport, which was already struggling to cope with the capacity demands. 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 approximately 100,000 travelers.

In a situation where capacity is nearly overloaded, similar ground staff errors resulting in aircraft damage are like a charging “grey rhinoceros” - except this time, the grey rhinoceros collided with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft.

Another Incident Involving Japan Coast Guard Aircraft at Haneda Airport

Oh? Another incident involving Japan Coast Guard aircraft?

Has the Japan Coast Guard had a feud with Haneda Airport? That’s interesting~~

However, this time, there was no one on board the aircraft. In other words, the aircraft was not in a state of preparing for takeoff; it was parked there. So, the aircraft was hit by a ground maintenance vehicle at the airport. Does the title of this incident sound a bit inappropriate? Suggesting a revision.

It’s only been 2 days since the last incident at Haneda Airport (the aircraft collision incident occurred on January 2, and this incident occurred on January 4). It seems that the wreckage from the last incident may not have been cleared up when this new accident happened.

With two consecutive incidents at Haneda Airport in such a short period, one can’t help but suspect that there might be a problem with the airport’s management or improper operations by the ground staff.

Generally, airport ground vehicles have strict routes to follow. Passengers who have taken shuttle buses at the airport know that often, when you’re going to board or disembark from an airplane, even if the distance seems short, the shuttle bus must strictly adhere to the predetermined route. Even if it means taking a longer route, it must be followed, and there are strict rules for parking positions. You can’t just drive any way you want. This is to prevent people from driving recklessly, especially with wide visibility and high speed, which could lead to accidents, and colliding with other vehicles is a minor issue compared to colliding with an aircraft.

This incident occurred in the evening at 6:00 PM, with dim lighting conditions. The driver and safety personnel of the ground maintenance vehicle may not have observed and confirmed as required before starting work, leading to the collision with the aircraft. Fortunately, there were no passengers on the aircraft, and besides some damage to the aircraft’s wing, there were no other issues.

Difficulties Lead to Prosperity

Minor Accident but Significant Frustration: Lessons from Aviation Incident

If it weren’t for the collision between a Japan Coast Guard aircraft and a Japan Airlines A350 plane a couple of days ago, today’s news would likely have gone unnoticed.

The aircraft involved in this incident was a jet likely not intended for earthquake relief efforts but rather for business travel between Japan and the United States, manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. For instance, many affluent individuals domestically own Gulfstream G550s. The specific model involved in the collision was LAJ501, as shown below.

!{Gulfstream LAJ501}

At the time of the accident, there were no passengers on board the Japan Coast Guard’s Gulfstream aircraft. The collision occurred as a Japanese high-loader truck, intended for cargo loading, accidentally collided with the Gulfstream aircraft’s wing, resulting in a cracked wing that rendered the aircraft unable to fly.

Although this incident was minor, it reflects a more significant issue. During this critical period, Japan has been grappling with either earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, landslides, potential issues at nuclear power plants, or even aircraft collisions. Both the management and front-line personnel should be extremely vigilant to ensure the smooth progress of their work. Any accident, no matter how minor, can be magnified and subjected to negative international scrutiny.

Without comparison, there can be no harm. Recalling the earthquakes that have occurred in our own country, it is evident that the spirit and efficiency displayed in domestic and international news coverage are exemplary. There were no aircraft collisions and no missing out on the crucial 72-hour golden rescue window. In comparison, it is clear that the execution and mobilization capabilities in the face of major disasters in our homeland are formidable and unmatched by any other country.

We hope that Japan can learn from our advanced experiences, unite as one, and face post-disaster reconstruction with determination.

Japan’s “Lost Decades” and the Challenges Ahead

In recent years, we’ve often heard the Japanese mention a phrase: “The Lost Three Decades.” It’s worth noting that this isn’t our observation but a self-acknowledgment by the Japanese. While technically, if we start from the Plaza Accord, it should be “The Lost Four Decades,” but let’s not dwell on that. As long as the folks in Japan are content, it’s fine!

So, what does this phrase mean?

If we look at Japan’s per capita GDP, from 1994 to 2024, Japan has essentially stagnated. In the world of progress, how can things stagnate? In a dynamic world, standing still means falling behind.

If we were to metaphorically depict Japan, it’s like a young individual who sailed through the first 20 years of life smoothly, encountered a major setback at the age of 20, and then spiraled into a prolonged period of stagnation, wasting their days until they turn 50, realizing that they’ve squandered their entire life.

If we were to compare Japan to a building, take the Fukushima nuclear power plant, for instance. It was completed in 1972 and had a smooth run for the first 20 years. However, during the following 30 years, it was left neglected, cutting corners and engaging in dishonest practices. Ultimately, in 2011, the inevitable disaster struck. Do you think that was just a coincidence?

What’s even more concerning is that this increasingly deteriorating country possesses a significant number of aging, under-maintained, and technically incomplete legacies from its rapid development era. Fukushima is just one example; Japan has many such ticking time bombs waiting to go off at any moment.

If we liken Japan to a factory, where no one has managed things for 30 years, it’s entirely normal for there to be complacency, lethargy, and dishonest practices!

Do you know what a Japanese bow signifies? It signifies that they can’t even be bothered to put on an act anymore. When everyone collectively takes responsibility, it’s akin to no one taking responsibility. A simple bow absolves them of all consequences, and the privileged class hardly ever has to pay the price.

If Japan were compared to a military, it would be an army of old soldiers, generals asleep at the helm, lax in arms, and more focused on leisure than warfare.

Self-defense force members are known for their “9-to-5” work schedule. Excluding those on night duty, they have free evenings. Self-defense officers don’t live in barracks; they live at home.

What’s particularly concerning is that during the Fukushima crisis, the self-defense forces not only failed to provide assistance but also stabbed others in the back. Yet, in the past two years, the “advanced recruitment areas” commended by the Ministry of Defense have surprisingly been areas like Fukushima, which has been struggling for ten years with earthquakes and nuclear leaks. Due to the nuclear power plant incident, local post-disaster recovery has been sluggish, and large areas remain uninhabitable. The original residents have had to rely on the hospitality of friends and family, wandering about. However, in Japan’s economic slump, unemployed young people from Fukushima have become a “hot commodity” for the local self-defense forces, who eagerly enlist them.

It seems like the boomerang is back!

In summary, Japan may not be as high as you think, but you can certainly consider it bottomless. There are definitely more pitfalls to be discovered.

Earthquakes are a bit beyond Japan’s scope. Major disasters, as the most severe test a country can face during peacetime, can be likened to war-like situations. We have an old saying: “Many hardships make a nation strong.” This is applicable to rising nations like ours. Japan, on the other hand, has long been a nation superficially gleaming but rotting from within. While it can maintain the facade of a developed country in daily life, once it encounters exceptional circumstances, it is bound to reveal its internal decay. This is what we call “getting caught in a difficult situation.”

Reference: {Original Article}

Airplanes have collided with each other before, and now it’s just a car crashing into an airplane. What does that count for? It shows that they have learned from their past experiences and clearly reduced the losses, demonstrating the management capabilities of modern developed countries. Just a few days ago, there was a historic fire at the early morning market in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The disaster response plan was to let all 200 shops burn to the ground and then extinguish the fire. Can your country remain as composed as this?

Another Incident at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan’s largest airport and a major international aviation hub, experienced another incident just a few days after a previous mishap.

In this latest incident, the main character “A” was a Gulfstream jet, known as “LAJ501,” belonging to the Japan Coast Guard’s Haneda Aviation Base. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the same aircraft involved in the recent incident; that one had already been retired.

The other key player “B” was a cargo-loading and unloading truck used by a subcontractor of a JAL subsidiary.

The incident occurred around 6 pm on January 4th, on a tarmac between the international terminal at Tokyo Haneda Airport and Runway B. Our protagonist “B” (the cargo truck) apparently wanted to test the waters, quite literally, and collided with protagonist “A,” the Gulfstream jet “LAJ501.”

Following the collision, LAJ501 suffered damage to its fuselage and wing, rendering it unable to fly. The extent of the damage included cracks along the wing’s edge. The aircraft’s return to service is uncertain at this time.

However, it’s important to note that LAJ501 had no scheduled flight at the time, and there were no passengers on board. As a result, no injuries were reported.

The Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has classified this incident as occurring within the airport’s restricted area and has initiated an investigation. The timeline for the release of investigation results remains unclear.

With two incidents happening within a short span of time, questions are being raised about airport management and its oversight.

Additionally, LAJ501, the Gulfstream jet belonging to the Japan Coast Guard, was produced by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in the United States. It is equipped with advanced radar and infrared detection systems, capable of performing long-distance missions between Japan and the United States.

Since 2005, the Japan Coast Guard has deployed two LAJ501 aircraft at the Haneda Aviation Base for rapid response missions. However, no one anticipated that two accidents would occur within such a short timeframe, making headlines once again.

One after another, accidents keep happening.

I’m starting to have trouble understanding.

And they are all related to units associated with the sea.

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

The Third Sector of the Japan Coast Guard located in Odaiba has suffered a loss of three fixed-wing aircraft in just a few days…

The Japan Coast Guard’s Haneda Aviation Base is situated at Haneda Airport. Given this situation, it is likely that the next four helicopters may also face a similar fate.

Passersby at the Fukuroshishi River embankment: Maritime Archives - The Operational System of the Japan Coast Guard

Oh, is the frequency this high?

I’m having a bit of trouble coming up with jokes?

It seems that not only did those kids who won against China in the summer camp in Japan grow up. They not only grew up but also went to work at Haneda Airport and the Maritime Safety Agency.

The frequency of this accident seems to be a bit high.

Stage Two: Perhaps something has happened, but we shouldn’t take action…

Let’s talk about combat rankings:

  • Japanese Self-Defense Forces
  • Russian Ground Forces
  • Ukrainian Armed Forces
  • Israeli IDF Special Forces
  • NATO Special Forces
  • The so-called “God’s soldiers” from the United States, without much reason…

Japan clearly possesses the spirit of awakening the divine wind for suicide attacks.

Of course, there are also groups like Hamas and Hezbollah…

And there are North Korea and South Korea’s artillery units…

Don’t even mention the PLA. We have a love for peace, only engaging in exercises, disaster relief… and issuing wanted orders.

The “Heinrich’s Law” and the Challenges of AI Oversight

Continuous incidents are unlikely to be merely due to negligence. There must be problem points in the entire mechanism or related processes. Especially in cases like Japan where operational procedures are meticulous and strictly followed, and yet such incidents continue to happen at the same airport with the same type of accidents…

“Heinrich’s Law” is a well-known empirical rule in the field of occupational accidents. This law suggests that behind one serious accident, there are 29 minor accidents that did not result in a serious incident, and behind these 29 accidents, there are 300 abnormal situations that could lead to accidents, known as the “1:29:300 rule.”

I hope AI can be used for oversight in this context. However, handling various big data and data from different sensors is not simply about accessing and analyzing them comprehensively. The challenge is not solely a technical one.

Series of Incidents at Tokyo Haneda Airport Raise Management Concerns

On June 10, 2023, at Tokyo Haneda Airport, two A330-300 passenger planes collided. One was EVA Air Flight 189 bound for Taipei Songshan Airport, and the other was Thai Airways Flight 683 heading to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The collision occurred on the taxiway, resulting in minor damage to the winglet of the Thai Airways aircraft and the horizontal tail fin of the EVA Air plane. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

On January 2, 2024, at Tokyo Haneda Airport, a Japan Airlines Airbus A350-941 (Flight JL516) from New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido was landing on Runway 16L/34R when it collided with a Japan Coast Guard DHC-8-315 aircraft, which was preparing to depart for Niigata Airport on a disaster relief mission. The collision led to a fire, injuring 14 people on the Japan Airlines flight, and sadly, five of the six occupants on the Japan Coast Guard aircraft lost their lives, including the pilot who suffered severe injuries.

On January 4, 2024, at Tokyo Haneda Airport, a Japan Coast Guard aircraft parked between the international terminal and Runway B collided with a ground service vehicle belonging to a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. Fortunately, there were no occupants on the Coast Guard aircraft at the time of the collision, but the impact caused wing damage, rendering the aircraft unable to fly.

These frequent accidents raise concerns about airport management and suggest that there may be systemic issues. It leaves one wondering whether there are management loopholes everywhere at the airport, making future incidents seem inevitable. Apologies alone won’t suffice; what happened to the Japanese craftsmanship spirit? What about the management theories exported to the world? Is there a master chef but no safety expert?