The year was characterized by a series of tragic air crashes.
Boeing 737 MAX
There have been some extremely difficult years for the international aviation industry over the decades. Even in recent times, problems such as the Boeing 737 MAX saga and the COVID-19 pandemic have rocked the market. However, one particularly challenging year was 1966, especially for Japan’s aviation community.
Nippon Airways Flight
- On February 4th, 1966, a Boeing 727-81 was performing All Nippon Airways Flight 60 from Sapporo-Chitose Airport to Tokyo-Haneda Airport. The pilot of the 727 radioed that he would land in the capital of Japan visually without the help of instruments amid the clear conditions. However, the jet then vanished from radar screens and hit Tokyo Bay.
The aircraft fell apart and sank into the water. Moreover, all 133 occupants sadly died, including 126 passengers and seven staff members.
“[The] All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 commercial airliner crashed 10.5 km (6.5 mi) short of the Tokyo airport into the Tokyo Bay. It was night and the aircraft dropped from 7,010 m (23,00 ft) in a right turn toward the runway and hit the water at a speed of 444.5 km/h (240 kts).”
The cause of the crash was not selected. Yet, locals shared that they noticed flames above at about 19:00. Despite this happening itself is such a tragedy, it wasn’t the only one to occur in Japan that year. There were four other disastrous accidents.
Tokyo International Airport
On March 4th, a Douglas DC-8-43 operating Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402 hit Tokyo International Airport’s seawall during a night landing, killing 62 passengers and 10 staff members. The next day, A BOAC Boeing 707–436 conducting Flight 911, during an about-the-world trip, hit near Mount Fuji. All 124 people on board died as a result.
Japan Air Lines Convair 880-22M crashed
Additionally, on August 26th, a Japan Air Lines Convair 880-22M crashed, causing five fatalities. Lastly, All Nippon Airways a NAMC YS-11-111 performing Flight 533 was on the way to Matsuyama, Shikoku from Osaka when it crashed in the Seto Inland Sea. All 50 people on the plane died, with the reason undetermined.
- Gold biscuits Rs 1.37 crore found hidden under passenger seat on Indigo flight from Dubai
- Pilot rescued by LAPD Officer before a train hits his crashed plane
Taking all these accidents into account, 1966 stands out as a difficult year for flight operations in Japan. Notably, several of these crashes had inconclusive causes.
There have been significant breakthroughs in recent years when it comes to air security. However, accidents still sadly occur across the mainlands.
However, the frequencies of such significant events happening in the space of less than a year in a single country certainly marred the Japanese industry. Therefore, there was a sharp drop in the need for domestic flights, forcing the industry to adapt heading into the 1970s.
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