Monday, March 23, 2009

First FedEx fatalities in Tokyo

The crash of a FedEx MD-11 cargo plane Monday morning marked the first fatal accident at Narita Airport since it opened in 1978, and the first fatal accident in FedEx’s 37 year history. (Contractors operating smaller flights have experienced their own fatalities).

Wind shear and low-altitude turbulence has been blamed, although the pilot may have overcompensated for these effects. There is also a suggestion that the MD-11 (a slightly updated DC-10) is prone to instability under such conditions.

The Daily Yomiuri has the most complete coverage so far. The US is sending NTSB and other investigators to help determine the cause.

The airport surveillance camera footage obtained by the Tokyo Broadcasting System is now on YouTube. Watching the doomed freighter bounce, roll and explode into flames (from multiple angles) is truly horrifying for anyone who’s ever been on a plane that landed in turbulent weather.

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