“I think the crew did even better than during drills,” JAL president told reporters Thursday. A civilized nation.
For the record.
In my opinion, the mentality of the Japanese people can be exemplarily, via this tragic flight accident, analysed.
Even if you, dear ART+CULTURE reader, will disagree, I may hereby proclaim, that in certain countries, many passengers would not have obeyed the flight attendants’ orders. Most would have opened the overhead bins. Most would have cried, shouted or panicked.
Text: courtesy by Kyodo News Agency
Pics: via internet
Crew’s quick decisions behind safe escape from burning JAL plane
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Quick decisions by cabin attendants and cooperation by level-headed passengers contributed to the safe evacuation of 379 people from a burning Japan Airlines plane at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, an escape described in overseas media as a miracle.
The nine flight attendants overcame several obstacles during the emergency deplaning after a runway collision. With only three of the eight exits usable, cabin crew had to carry out a rapid evacuation of the 67-meter fuselage with only limited input from the cockpit as communication systems failed, according to officials of the major Japanese airline.
“I felt a shock, like somebody slammed on the brakes. Then I saw flames rising outside the window,” a passenger said, explaining what happened in the cabin soon after Flight 516 landed and struck another aircraft on the runway at around 5:47 p.m. Tuesday.
Flight attendants urged the alarmed passengers to stay calm, in line with procedures aimed at preventing panic in an emergency.
Upon confirming a crew member’s report that the left engine was catching fire, the chief cabin attendant managed to notify the cockpit and was ordered to launch the emergency evacuation, according to the officials.
As smoke entered the cabin and children began to cry for the exits to be opened, flight attendants quickly assessed ways to escape, asking passengers to crouch or duck down to avoid inhaling smoke.
The two exits at the plane’s front were found to be usable, and crew members began to lead passengers forward to evacuate by emergency slides.
At the plane’s rear, however, only one exit was usable. A crew member saw flames outside that would prevent safe exit from the right side, but observed that the left side was clear and had adequate space on the ground to put down a slide.
But the in-flight system to communicate with the captain was not working. With more smoke coming into the cabin, the staffer opened the left rear exit and released the slide without the cockpit’s permission.
A college student from Tokyo heard a cabin attendant urging other passengers not to try retrieving luggage from the overhead bins. They ended up complying, and headed quickly for the exits with only small personal items such as smartphones.
Those who reached the ground first helped other passengers at the bottom of the slides.
The captain checked all the rows from the front, ensuring the last passengers had left, and disembarked from the rear exit at 6:05 p.m., minutes before the plane was entirely engulfed in flames.
Shigeru Takano, a former senior official of the transport ministry’s Civil Aviation Bureau, said the smooth escape was made possible both by the crew’s response and “the passengers cooperating with them even in such a critical situation.”
The plane skidded on the runway with the nose down following the collision with a Japan Coast Guard airplane on the tarmac.
Given the angle of the fuselage, the front exits were closer to the ground and enabled many passengers to slide down more quickly, said Takano, who headed the bureau’s safety and security department.
“I think the crew did even better than during drills,” Yuji Akasaka, president of the Tokyo-based airline, told reporters Thursday.