Monday, March 23, 2009

[Video] FedEx Cargo Jet Crashing in Tokyo, Japan

I can relate to the video of this sad crash, an accident possibly caused by high winds. When I flew to Japan in 2006, we were diverted at the last minute due to a typhoon that was hitting the area. Yeah, ty-fucking-phoon.

As we were landing this massive American Airlines 777, at night, in the rain, I could tell something wasn't right. We were moving too fast for being so close to the ground. "This isn't a good landing," I thought to myself. And then, not more than 500 feet above the runway, the pilot suddenly pushed all the thrust he could back into those massive engines and we started to lift away, into the darkness.

We had aborted our landing seconds before the runway and were now just flying through the late night rain. After what seemed like an eternity, the pilot came on and explained that we needed to call off the landing due to the wind. Who knows what disaster he averted, but I had a bad feeling about how hard we had been descending. He told us that we were now heading to Haneda airport, some miles away.

Long story short, we had to land at Haneda (which didn't have customs office, so we couldn't deplane). We then had to wait for a crew to be driven to us to relieve our tired transpacific crew, then take off again, and fly all the way back to Narita. This took about eight long hours, most of it spent sitting in the jet as it rocked on the tarmac due to the rough winds and rain. Later on that week, I learned that some Japanese fishermen were lost at sea due to the typhoon. Our LAX-NRT flight could have ended so much worse.

Source: Strangely enough, I saw this video first posted here.

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