A plane from Japanese budget airline Peach Aviation made a narrow escape on Monday as it dived at a very low altitude of 248 feet above ocean level as it tried to land at the Naha Airport in Okinawa. The Transport Ministry said the cause of the almost crash was due to a misunderstanding between the pilot and the air traffic controllers.
At around 11:47 AM on Monday, Airbus A320-200 flight number MM252 was flying in from Ishikagi in the Yaeyama Islands, carrying 59 people, including 53 passengers and 6 crew members. Flight conditions were poor, as the visibility was impaired at that time due to the rain and the pilot misunderstood the instructions from the air traffic tower. The Argentinian pilot believed the controllers were telling him to land already when he was still 7km north of the airport. Fortunately, the plane was able to gain altitude as they were immediately alerted by the ground proximity warning system of the plane. There were no reported injuries among the passengers and personnel.
The Transport Ministry labelled this a “serious incident” and the plane was in a “dangerous situation as it could have crashed into the sea.” Investigators from Japan’s Transport Safety Board (JTSB) will be heading to Kansai Airport, where Peach Aviation is mainly located, to investigate the incident. The airline apologized to the passengers and all those involved and said that they are willing to cooperate in whatever investigation will be launched.
[ via Wire Update ]