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    We’re all gonna die! VII


    A Japan Airlines (JAL) jetliner barely avoided a collision with a plane that had just landed at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido in January after it began to race along the runway for takeoff without clearance, government regulators said Tuesday.

    It was not until last Friday that JAL reported the incident, which occurred on Jan. 22, to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry in accordance with the Civil Aviation Law.

    The JAL jet’s captain has told company officials that he failed to confirm that his plane was cleared for takeoff. “I was preoccupied with preparations for takeoff and failed to confirm whether my plane was cleared. I thought no other aircraft was ahead of us.”

    At around 9:16 p.m., the captain of JAL Flight 1036 bound for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport was ordered by an air traffic controller to wait at the south edge of the 3,000-meter-long Runway A, according to ministry and JAL officials. Nevertheless, the pilot of the Boeing 777 with 201 passengers aboard increased the engine’s thrust and began to race along the runway for takeoff.

    The controller who noticed that the jet was about to take off immediately ordered it to halt saying, “Stop! You’re not cleared for takeoff yet!”

    Details, details. JAL hasn’t had a fatal incident in 20 years–in fact, I believe it’ll be exactly 20 years this August. It was the single-plane incident with the highest number of fatalities in history, I think. At least, it used to be, and I don’t think any have exceeded it since then. Japan’s air safety record since then (and, for that matter, then) has been the envy of the world, and justifiably so. But there’s a crew-error incident like this every few months nowadays; a few years ago, it was control-tower error. Luckily, there’s always been only one person in la-la land, with everyone else on top of things and ready to make up for him.

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