A350 destroyed at Tokyo following a collision but all passengers safe

Security Video captured the moment of impact between the two aircraft at Tokyo Haneda Airport
Security Video captured the moment of impact between the two aircraft at Tokyo Haneda Airport

A Japan Airlines Airbus A350 has been destroyed by fire at Tokyo Haneda airport after it collided with a Japanese coastguard Bombardier Dash 8 as it landed at around 08:47 UTC (09:47 am UK time).

The Japan Airlines crew was able heavily damaged A350-900 (JA13XJ) to a halt on the runway where the crew was able to safely evacuate all 379 passengers and crew.

Security camera video of the accident widely shared on social media shows the A350 colliding with the Dash 8 as it crossed the threshold of the runway with both aircraft erupting into flames.

It is not yet known how or why the conflict occurred and why the Japan Airlines flight didn’t see the Dash 8 on the runway although the accident occurred at night in an area where red and green lights are normal runway markers.

The Captain of the Coastguard aircraft is understood to have escaped from the Dash 8 but the five other crew members were killed in the collision.

The aircraft was on its way to deliver aid following yesterday’s earthquake.

Fire ripped through the A350 following evacuation and is currently still burning four hours later resulting in the first known hull loss of an Airbus A350.

More video shows the destroyed hull of the A350-900.

Flight Details

Japan Airlines Flight 516 took off from Sapporo at 15:50 local time for the 1hr20 min flight to Tokyo Haneda. It was operated by a two-year-old Airbus A350-900 JA13XJ which is one of the most modern and safest airliners in the world.

The aircraft approached Tokyo Haneda Airport’s Runway 34R, known as Runway C at the airport, at 17:47 local time which is where the accident occurred.

A playback using Flightradar 24 shows the aircraft landing on 34R while a Delta Airlines A330 was waiting to take off but does not show the Coastguard Aircraft meaning it was not sending an ADS-B Transponder code, a system used for collision avoidance. This however is not unusual for coastguard or military aircraft.

Evidence from the Delta Airlines jet will be key to the final moments of the flight as the incident would have occurred right in front of them.

The final moments of Flight 516 shown on Flightradar24.
The final moments of Flight 516 shown on Flightradar24.

Airbus Statement

In a statement Airbus, maker of the A350-900, Said: Airbus regrets to confirm that an A350-900 operated by Japan Airlines was involved in an accident during flight JAL516 from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Haneda International Airport shortly after 17:47 (local time) on 02 January 2024. All 367 passengers and 12 crew members on-board evacuated the aircraft.

“The A350 collided with a DHC-8 aircraft at landing in Haneda. The Japanese authorities have since confirmed that sadly five of the six people on board the DHC-8 did not survive. The exact circumstances of the event are still unknown.

“The aircraft involved in the accident, registered under the number JA13XJ, was MSN 538, delivered to Japan Airlines from the production line on 10 November 2021. It was powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

“In line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 recommendations, Airbus will provide technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) of France and to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) in charge of the investigation. For this purpose, Airbus is presently dispatching a team of specialists to assist the Authorities.

“Further updates will be provided as soon as consolidated information is available and Airbus is authorised to release them.

“Our concerns and sympathy go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident.”

About Nick Harding 1946 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

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