Airplane on the runway at sunset

Disaster struck Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, shortly after the New Year as an airplane accident occurred in the early evening of January 2, 2024. An Airbus carrying 379 passengers and crew collided with a Coast Guard plane. The Japanese airline crash could have been a significant tragedy. Instead, it became a miracle and a teaching moment when all 379 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus survived.

A Miraculous Survival Rate in a Potentially Dangerous Crash

A Japan Airlines commercial plane burst into flames after crashing into a Coast Guard aircraft while landing at Haneda Airport, Tokyo. Five out of the six crew members in the Coast Guard plane it struck died as a result of the crash. The Coast Guard was providing aid to those affected by the recent earthquake in Japan. All 379 passengers and crew onboard the JAL plane were unharmed and escaped safely.

While many have called this survival rate a miracle, HRD Aero Systems understands that proper safety equipment maintenance was a significant factor in saving the lives of those onboard. The Japan Airlines crew were crucial in keeping passengers calm and evacuating efficiently. With adequate airplane equipment and safety protocols, a 100% survival rate in most aircraft emergencies should be more common.

The 1985 Incident That Shaped JAL’s Fate

JAL has made safety a top priority since 1985, when a passenger plane flying from Tokyo to Osaka crashed, leaving 520 casualties in its wake. JAL improved its protocols and equipment practices since this incident, which is known as one of the deadliest accidents in aviation history.

It is currently rated as a seven-star airline and is among the world’s top 25 safest airlines.

How Japan Airlines’ Emergency Escape Slides Saved the Day

Passengers on the JAL flight evacuated via three inflatable escape slides, with two in the front left and right emergency exits and one from the backmost left escape chute. Inflatable aircraft escape slides are used when standard exits are unsafe due to water or fire damage.

The airplane crash in Tokyo caused both crafts to be engulfed in flames. The use of escape slides along with well-executed evacuation procedures by flight attendants resulted in a 100% survival rate for those in the Airbus A350, and the evacuation was complete only 18 minutes after the collision.

To comply with international aircraft standards, it’s essential that the evacuation of all passengers on a commercial plane can be executed within 90 seconds, using all eight available escape chutes.

Our hearts go out to the Coast Guard crew and their families in the devastating crash.

Contact HRD for emergency escape slide maintenance

HRD Aero Systems for Your Emergency Escape Slide Maintenance

Manufacturers recommend checking emergency equipment, including inflatable escape slides, every six to eight weeks. The FAA guidelines agree, stating that safety equipment needs regular checks so they can function in the case of an emergency. Our team at HRD Aero Systems is dedicated to ensuring that your aircraft safety is FAA-compliant and flight-ready.

With 30 years of experience, we pride ourselves on reliable service and repair of inflatable devices, fire extinguishers and oxygen systems. Whether you need inspections, repairs or preventive services for your aircraft safety equipment, we’re on board with you.

Contact us today to schedule the services you need.