All Nippon Airways Flight 60
An All Nippon Airways Boeing 727-100, similar to the one that crashed
|Date||February 4, 1966|
|Summary||Crashed into Tokyo Bay; Cause undetermined|
|Site||Tokyo Bay, Japan|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 727-81|
|Operator||All Nippon Airways|
|IATA flight No.||NH60|
|ICAO flight No.||ANA60|
|Call sign||ALL NIPPON 60|
|Flight origin||Chitose Airport|
|Destination||Haneda International Airport|
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 60 (全日空60便, Zennikkū 60 Bin) was a Boeing 727-81 aircraft making a domestic commercial flight from Sapporo Chitose Airport to Tokyo Haneda International Airport. 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; 5.6 nmi) from Haneda 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 Sapporo Snow Festival, 600 miles north of Tokyo.
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. The death toll on a single aircraft would eventually be surpassed when a Lockheed C-130B Hercules was shot down in May 1968, killing 155 people. In terms of commercial aviation, the death toll on a single aircraft would not be surpassed until the crash of Viasa Flight 742, which crashed on takeoff and killed all 84 people onboard the aircraft, as well as 71 people on the ground. 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 a couple of hours later whilst 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.
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
- "133 Japanese on Airliner Die As It Crashes Into Tokyo Bay; Boeing 727 Was Approaching Airport--Accident Worst Involving One Plane". The New York Times. February 5, 1966. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- AirDisaster.Com Accident Database, Accident Synopsis 02041966 (Archive)
- 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) from British Pathé (Record No:71611) at YouTube