All Nippon Airways Flight 60
A Boeing 727 of All Nippon Airways, similar to the aircraft which crashed
|Date||February 4, 1966|
|Site||Tokyo Bay, Japan|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 727-81|
|Operator||All Nippon Airways|
|Flight origin||Chitose Airport|
|Destination||Haneda International Airport|
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 60 was a Boeing 727-81 aircraft making a domestic commercial flight from Chitose to Tokyo. On February 4, 1966, all 133 people on board died when the plane mysteriously crashed into Tokyo Bay about 10.4 km (6.5 mi) from Tokyo's Haneda International Airport in clear weather conditions while on a night approach. The accident was the worst involving a single aircraft up to that time.
Passengers and crew
The aircraft carried 126 passengers and a crew of seven. Most of the passengers were returning from the annual winter carnival at Chitose, 600 miles north of Tokyo and point of origin for the flight.
Flying in clear weather, ANA Flight 60 was only a few minutes away from Haneda Airport when its pilot radioed he would land visually without instruments. Then the airliner vanished from radar screens.
Villagers along the shore and the pilot of another plane said they saw flames in the sky at about 7 p.m., the moment the plane was due to land. Then fishermen and Japanese Defense Force boats began picking up bodies from the murky waters of the bay. They had picked up approximately 20 when an airline spokesman announced the fuselage had been found with scores of bodies inside. He said this led to the belief that all aboard were dead. Grappling hooks from a Coast Guard boat brought up the wreckage.
The tail of the aircraft, including at least two of the three engines, the vertical stabilizer, and the horizontal stabilizer were recovered mostly intact. The rest of the aircraft virtually disintegrated on impact. The death toll of 133 made the crash the world's deadliest single-aircraft accident at the time, as well as the second-deadliest aviation accident in general behind the 1960 New York mid-air collision. A cause for the accident was never determined.
Series of crashes
This accident was one of five fatal air disasters—four commercial and one military—in Japan in 1966. One month after ANA Flight 60's demise, Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402, a Douglas DC-8, struck the approach lights and a seawall at Haneda, killing 64 of 72 on board. Less than 24 hours later, BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707, was actually photographed as it taxied past the still-smoldering wreckage of the Canadian jet, then broke up in flight above Mt. Fuji - because of clear air turbulence - shortly after departure, killing all 124 passengers and crew. A Japan Air Lines Convair 880-22M crashed and killed five people on Aug. 26. Finally, All Nippon Airways Flight 533 crashed and killed 50 people on November 13. The combined effect of these five accidents shook public confidence in commercial aviation in Japan, and both Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways were forced to cut back some domestic service due to reduced demand.
- AirDisaster.Com Accident Database, Accident Synopsis 02041966
- AirSafe.com Fatal Boeing 727 Events
- Reuters (1966-03-19). "Japan's airlines cut Tokyo-Osaka runs". The New York Times. p. 58. "Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways announced today a reduction in their flights between Tokyo and Osaka following three air crashes in the last six weeks."
- Newsreel footage concerning the incident (1966) courtesy of British Pathe (Record No:71611) at YouTube