Japan Airlines Flight 123
Japan Airlines Flight 123 was a scheduled domestic Japan Airlines passenger flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to Osaka International Airport, Japan. On August 12, 1985, a Boeing 747SR operating this route suffered a sudden decompression twelve minutes into the flight and crashed in the area of Mount Takamagahara, Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, 100 kilometres (62 miles; 54 nautical miles) from Tokyo thirty-two minutes later. The crash site was on Osutaka Ridge, near Mount Osutaka.
JA8119, the aircraft involved in the accident at Osaka International Airport in 1984
|Date||August 12, 1985|
|Summary||In-flight structural failure due to improper repair, leading to rapid decompression and loss of control|
|Site||Mount Takamagahara, Japan |
|Aircraft type||Boeing 747-146SR|
|IATA flight No.||JL123|
|ICAO flight No.||JAL123|
|Call sign||JAPAN AIR 123|
|Flight origin||Tokyo International Airport|
|Destination||Osaka International Airport|
Japan's Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission officially concluded that the rapid decompression was caused by a faulty repair by Boeing technicians after a tailstrike incident during a landing at Osaka Airport seven years earlier in 1978. A doubler plate on the rear bulkhead of the plane had been improperly repaired, compromising the plane's airworthiness. Cabin pressurization continued to expand and contract the improperly repaired bulkhead until the day of the accident, when the faulty repair finally failed, causing the rapid decompression that ripped off a large portion of the tail and caused the loss of hydraulic controls to the entire plane.
The aircraft, configured with increased economy class seating, was carrying 524 people. Casualties of the crash included all 15 crew members and 505 of the 509 passengers. Some passengers survived the initial crash but subsequently died of their injuries hours later, mostly due to the Japan Self-Defense Forces' decision to wait until the next day to go to the crash site, after declining an offer from a nearby United States Air Force base to start an immediate rescue operation. It is the deadliest single-aircraft accident in aviation history.
- 1 Aircraft and crew
- 2 Passengers
- 3 Sequence of events
- 4 Delayed rescue operation
- 5 Cause
- 6 Aftermath and legacy
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Aircraft and crewEdit
The accident aircraft was registered JA8119 and was a Boeing 747-146SR (Short Range). Its first flight was on January 28, 1974. It had accumulated slightly more than 25,000 flight hours and 18,835 cycles (one cycle consists of a takeoff, a cabin pressurization and a landing) in service.
|Total ||509||15||524|
At the time of the accident the aircraft was on the fifth of its six planned flights of the day. There were fifteen crew members, including three cockpit crew and 12 flight attendants.
The cockpit crew consisted of the following:
- Captain Masami Takahama (高浜 雅己 Takahama Masami) served as a training instructor for First Officer Yutaka Sasaki on the flight, supervising him while handling the radio communications, While also acting as the first officer. A veteran pilot, having logged approximately 12,400 total flight hours, roughly 4,850 of which were accumulated flying 747s, Takahama was aged 49 at the time of the accident.
- First Officer Yutaka Sasaki (佐々木 祐 Sasaki Yutaka) was undergoing training for promotion to the rank of captain and flew Flight 123 as one of his final training/evaluation flights. Sasaki, who was 39 years old at the time of the accident, had approximately 4,000 total flight hours to his credit and he had logged roughly 2,650 hours in the 747.
- Flight Engineer Hiroshi Fukuda (福田 博 Fukuda Hiroshi), a 46-year-old veteran flight engineer who had approximately 9,800 total flight hours, of which roughly 3,850 were accrued flying 747s.
The flight was around the Obon holiday period in Japan, when many Japanese people make yearly trips to their home towns or resorts. Around twenty-one non-Japanese boarded the flight. By August 13, 1985, Geoffrey Tudor, a spokesman for Japan Airlines, stated that the list included four residents of Hong Kong, two each from Italy and the United States, and one each from West Germany and the United Kingdom. Some foreigners had dual nationalities, and some of them were residents of Japan.
The four survivors, all female, were seated on the left side and toward the middle of seat rows 54–60, in the rear of the aircraft.
Sequence of eventsEdit
Take-off and decompressionEdit
The aircraft landed at Haneda from New Chitose Airport at 4:50 p.m. as JL514. After more than an hour on the ramp, Flight 123 pushed back from gate 18 at 6:04 p.m. and took off from Runway 15L at Haneda Airport in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, at 6:12 p.m., twelve minutes behind schedule. About 12 minutes after takeoff, at near cruising altitude over Sagami Bay, the aircraft had a rapid decompression:83 bringing down the ceiling around the rear lavatories, damaging the unpressurized fuselage aft of the plane, unseating the vertical stabilizer, and severing all four hydraulic lines. A photograph taken from the ground confirmed that the vertical stabilizer was missing.
The pilots set their transponder to broadcast a distress signal. Afterwards, Captain Takahama contacted Tokyo Area Control Center to declare an emergency, and to request to return to Haneda Airport, descending and following emergency landing vectors to Oshima. Tokyo Control approved a right-hand turn to a heading of 90° east back towards Oshima, but the plane did not follow the directions and only turned right far enough to fly a north-westerly course, entering an initial right-hand bank of 40°, several degrees greater than observed previously. Captain Takahama, alarmed, ordered Co-pilot Sasaki to bank the plane back.("Don't bank so much."):296 When the plane did not respond, even though the control wheel was being turned left, he expressed confusion, as the flight engineer reported that the hydraulic pressure was dropping. The Captain repeated the order to not bank so much, as the autopilot had disengaged, then ordered the Co-pilot to turn it back, then ordered him to pull up, all of which caused no response. It was at this point that the pilots became aware that the aircraft had become uncontrollable, and Captain Takahama ordered the plane to descend.
6:27 p.m. – 6:34 p.m.Edit
Seeing that the aircraft was still flying west away from Haneda, Tokyo Control contacted the aircraft again. After confirming that the pilots were declaring an emergency, the controller requested as to the nature of the emergency. At this point, hypoxia appears to have begun setting in, as the pilots did not respond. In addition, the Captain and Co-pilot asked the Flight Engineer repeatedly if hydraulic pressure was lost (Flight Engineer: "Hydro pressure all loss." Co-pilot: "All loss?" Captain: "No, look." Flight Engineer: "All loss." Co-pilot: "All loss?" Flight Engineer: "Yes."),:298 seemingly unable to comprehend it. Tokyo Control then contacted the plane again and repeated the direction to descend and turn to a 90° heading to Oshima. Only then did the captain report that the aircraft had become uncontrollable. (Tokyo: "Japan Air 124 [sic] fly heading 090 radar vector to Oshima." JAL123: "But now uncontrol." Tokyo: "Uncontrol, roger understood."):299
Heading over the Izu Peninsula at 6:26 p.m., the pilots managed to turn away from the Pacific Ocean, and back towards the shore;:150 At 6:31:02 p.m., Tokyo Control asked the crew if they could descend, and Captain Takahama replied that they were now descending, and stated that the plane's altitude was 24,000 feet after Tokyo Control requested their altitude. Captain Takahama also declined Tokyo Control's suggestion to divert to Nagoya Airport 72 miles away, instead preferring to land at Haneda.:302 However, the flight data recorder shows that the flight did not descend, but was instead rising and falling, uncontrollable. :1–6 Hydraulic fluid completely drained away through the rupture. With total loss of hydraulic control and non-functional control surfaces, the aircraft began up and down oscillations in phugoid cycles lasting about 90 seconds each. The lack of stabilizing influence from the vertical stabilizer and the rudder removed the only means to dampen yaw. Consequently, the aircraft also began to exhibit Dutch roll, simultaneously yawing right and banking right, before yawing back left and banking left, with the banks in large arcs of approximately 50° back and forth in cycles of 12 seconds.
In spite of the complete loss of controls, the pilots continued to turn the control wheel, pull on the control column, and move the rudder pedals up until the moment of the crash.:7–12:128 The pilots also began efforts to establish control using engine thrust,:19–24 and they managed to slowly turn the plane back towards Haneda. Their efforts were of limited success. The unpressurized plane rose and fell in an altitude range of 20,000–24,000 feet (6,100–7,300 m) for 18 minutes, from the moment of decompression up until approximately 6:40 p.m., with the pilots seemingly unable to figure out how to descend without flight controls.:1–6 This is possibly due to the effects of hypoxia at such altitudes, as the pilots seemed to have difficulty comprehending their situation as the plane pitched and rolled uncontrollably. It is also possible that the pilots were focused on the cause of the explosion they heard, and the subsequent difficulty in controlling the jet.:126, 137-138 The flight engineer did say they should put on their oxygen masks when word reached the cockpit that the rear-most passenger masks had stopped working. However, none of the pilots did put on their oxygen masks, possibly out of indecision, or hypoxia impairing their judgement. Their voices can be heard relatively clearly on the cockpit area microphone for the entire duration up until the crash, which is proof that they likely did not do so at any point in the flight.:96:126
6:34 p.m. – 6:48 p.m.Edit
Shortly before 6:34 p.m., Japan Air Tokyo attempted to call the flight via the selective-calling system multiple times. At 6:35, the flight responded, with the flight engineer handling communications to the company. The company stated that they have been monitoring the emergency, and the flight engineer, having been notified by a flight attendant that the R-5 masks had stopped working, replied back that they believed the R-5 door was broken and were making an emergency descent. Japan Air Tokyo asked if it was their intention to return to Haneda, to which the flight engineer responded that they were making an emergency descent, and to continue to monitor them.:306–307.
Eventually, the pilots were able to achieve limited control of the airplane by adjusting engine thrust, and in doing so, they were able to dampen the phugoid cycle and somewhat stabilize their altitude. Suppressing the dutch roll was another matter, as the engines cannot respond fast enough to counter the dutch roll. According to the accident report, "Suppressing of dutch roll mode by use of the differential thrust between the right and left engines is estimated practically impossible for a pilot.":89 Shortly after 6:40 p.m., the landing gear was lowered in an attempt to dampen the phugoid cycles and Dutch rolls further, and to attempt to decrease the plane's airspeed in order to descend. This was somewhat successful, as the phugoid cycles were dampened almost completely, and the dutch roll was damped significantly, but lowering the gear also decreased the directional control the pilots were getting by applying power to one side of the aircraft, and the aircrew's ability to control the aircraft deteriorated.
Shortly after lowering the gear, the plane began a right-hand descending 360° turn from 6:40 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. over Otsuki. The aircraft also began descending from 22,400 feet (6,800 m) to 17,000 feet (5,200 m), as the pilots had reduced engine thrust to near idle from 6:43 p.m. to 6:48 p.m. Upon descending to 13,500 feet (4,100 m) at 6:45:46 p.m., the pilots again reported an uncontrollable aircraft.:324 At this time, the aircraft began to turn slowly to the left, while continuing to descend. The thicker air allowed the pilots more oxygen, and their hypoxia appeared to have subsided somewhat, as they were communicating more frequently. The pilots also appeared to be understanding how grave their situation had become, with Captain Takahama exclaiming "This may be hopeless." at 6:46:33.:317 At 6:47 p.m., the pilots recognized that they were beginning to turn towards the mountains, and despite efforts by the crew to get the plane to continue to turn right, it instead turned left, flying directly towards the mountainous terrain on a westerly heading.
6:48 p.m. – 6:55 p.m.Edit
As the aircraft continued west, it descended below 7,000 feet (2,100 m), and was getting dangerously close to the mountains. The lower altitude and thicker air allowed the Cabin Altitude alert to turn itself off at a couple of points at this time, before resuming for the rest of the flight. The captain briefly ordered maximum engine power to attempt to get the plane to climb to avoid the mountains, and engine power was added abruptly at 6:48 p.m. before being reduced back to near idle, then at 6:49 p.m. it was ordered raised again.:319 This greatly excited the phugoid motion,:291 and the plane pitched up, before pitching back down after power was reduced. When power was added again, the plane rapidly pitched up to 40° at 6:49:30 p.m.,:1–6 briefly stalling at 8,000 feet (2,400 m). The captain immediately ordered maximum power at 6:49:40 p.m. as the stick shaker sounded ("Ah, no good... Stall. Max power. Max power. Max power.").:320 The plane's airspeed increased as it was brought into an unsteady climb. Possibly as a measure to prevent a recurrence of stalling, due to the lowered air speed caused by the drag of the landing gear, the crew quickly discussed lowering the flaps. Without hydraulics, the captain expressed that this wouldn't work, but the flight engineer pointed out this could be done via an alternate electrical system.:322 At 6:51 p.m., the Captain lowered the flaps 5 units as an additional attempt to exert control over the stricken jet.:291 During the period from 6:49:03 - 6:52:11, Japan Air Tokyo attempted to call the plane via the selective-calling radio system. During the entire three-minute period, the SELCAL alarm continued to ring according to the CVR recordings,:320–323 the pilots most likely ignoring it due to the difficulty they were experiencing at the time.
The aircraft reached 13,000 feet (4,000 m) at 6:53 p.m., at which point the Captain reported an uncontrollable plane for the third time. Shortly afterwards, the controller asked the crew to switch the radio frequency to 119.7 to talk to the Tokyo Approach (“Japan Air 123, switch the frequency to 119.7 please!”), but none of the pilots responded to the request but they still followed the orders and they changed radio frequency. (Captain: “Yes, Yes, 119.7” Co-pilot: “Ah, Yes, number 2” Captain: “119.7” Co-pilot: “Yes” Flight Engineer: “Shall we try?” Co-pilot: “Yes”) Tokyo Approach then contacted the flight via the SELCAL system, and the SELCAL alarm started again which was shortly stopped when the Flight engineer finally responded to Tokyo’s request, at which point the Captain asked the Flight engineer to request their position (Captain: “Request position” Flight Engineer: “Request position”). At 6:54 p.m., this was reported to the flight as 45 miles Northwest of Haneda, and 25 miles west of Kumagaya. At 6:55 p.m. the Captain requested flap extension, and the Co-pilot called out a flap extension to 10 units, while the flaps were already being extended from 5 units at 6:54:30. This began to cause the plane to begin to bank to the right, possibly due to an imbalance in lift between the left and right flaps. Power was increased at the same time. However, the left-side engines' power setting was slightly higher than the right-side. This contributed to further increasing the bank angle to the right.:291–292
One minute later, the flaps were extended to 25 units, which caused the aircraft to bank dramatically to the right beyond 60°, and the nose began to drop.:292 Captain Takahama immediately ordered the flaps to be retracted ("Hey, halt the flap"),:326 and power was added abruptly but still with engine power higher on the left vs. the right engines.:292 The Captain was heard on the cockpit voice recorder desperately requesting for the flaps to be retracted and for more power to be applied in a last-ditch effort to raise the nose:326–327 (Captain: “Power! Flap stop crowding together.” Co-pilot: “Flap up, flap up, flap up, flap up!” Captain: “Flap up?” Co-pilot: “Yes.” Captain: “Power. Power! Flap!” Flight engineer: “It is up!” Captain: "Raise the nose. Raise the nose! Power!"). The plane continued to enter an unrecoverable right-hand descent into the mountains as the engines were pushed to full power, during which the Ground Proximity Warning System sounded, and the Captain knew it was too late to recover (Captain: “We can not do anything now!”). In the final moments, as the airspeed exceeded 340 knots (390 mph), the pitch attitude leveled out and the plane ceased descending, with the plane and passengers/crew being subjected to 3G's of upward vertical acceleration.
6:56 p.m. (The impact time)Edit
However, it was still in a 40° right-hand bank when the plane's right-most #4 engine impacted into the trees on top of a ridge located 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) NNW of Mount Mikuni at an elevation of 1,530 metres (5,020 ft), which can be heard audibly on the CVR recording. The backward shock of the impact, measuring 0.14G, in addition to losing the thrust of the 4th engine, caused the plane to bank sharply back to the right, and the nose to drop again. The plane continued on its trajectory for three seconds, upon which the right wing clipped another ridge containing a "U-shaped ditch" 520 metres (1,710 ft) WNW of the previous ridge at an elevation of 1,610 metres (5,280 ft). This impact is speculated to have separated the remainder of the weakened tail from the airframe, as well as the remaining three engines which were "dispersed 500-700 meters ahead";:19, 91 after which the plane flipped on its back, impacted upon, and exploded on another ridge 570 metres (1,870 ft) NW from the second ridge, near Mount Takamagahara, at 6:56 p.m. The impact registered on a seismometer located in the Shin-etsu Earthquake Observatory at Tokyo University from 6:56:27 as a small shock, to 6:56:32 as a larger shock, estimated to have been caused by the final crash. It is estimated that the shockwaves took approximately 2.0-2.3 seconds to reach the seismometer, making the estimated time of the final crash to be at 6:56:30 pm.:108-109
The aircraft's crash point, at an elevation of 1,565 metres (5,135 ft), is in Sector 76, State Forest, 3577 Aza Hontani, Ouaza Narahara, Ueno Village, Tano District, Gunma Prefecture. The east-west ridge is about 2.5 kilometres (8,200 ft) north north west of Mount Mikuni. Ed Magnuson of Time magazine said that the area where the aircraft crashed was referred to as the "Tibet" of Gunma Prefecture. The elapsed time from the bulkhead failure to the crash was 32 minutes.:123,127
Delayed rescue operationEdit
United States Air Force air traffic controllers at Yokota Air Base, situated near the flight path of JAL 123, had been monitoring the aircraft's distress calls and maintained contact with Japanese air traffic control throughout. They made the Yokota runway available to JAL 123, as did the US Atsugi Naval Base after being alerted to the situation. After losing radar contact, a U.S. Air Force C-130 from the 345th TAS was tasked to search for the missing plane. The C-130 crew was the first to spot the crash site 20 minutes after impact, while it was still daylight. The crew radioed the location to the Japanese and Yokota Air Base and directed an Iroquois helicopter from Yokota to the crash site. Rescue teams were assembled, prepared to lower Marines from helicopters. However, American offers of assistance in mounting a search and rescue mission were declined by the Japanese government who determined that the mission would be undertaken by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and that outside help was not necessary. It remains unclear why the offers were declined.
A JSDF helicopter later spotted the wreck but after nightfall. Poor visibility and the difficult mountainous terrain prevented it from landing at the site. The pilot reported from the air that there were no signs of survivors. Based on this report, JSDF personnel on the ground did not set out to the site on the night of the crash. Instead, they were dispatched to spend the night at a makeshift village erecting tents, constructing helicopter landing ramps and engaging in other preparations, 63 kilometres (39 mi) from the crash site. Rescue teams did not set out for the site until the following morning. Medical staff later found bodies with injuries suggesting that individuals had survived the crash only to die from shock, exposure overnight in the mountains, or from injuries that, if tended to earlier, would not have been fatal. One doctor said "If the discovery had come ten hours earlier, we could have found more survivors."
One of the four survivors out of 524 passengers and crew, recounted from her hospital bed that she recalled bright lights and the sound of helicopter rotors shortly after she awoke amid the wreckage, and while she could hear screaming and moaning from other survivors, these sounds gradually died away during the night.
The official cause of the crash according to the report published by Japan's Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission is as follows:
- The aircraft was involved in a tailstrike incident at Osaka International Airport seven years earlier as JAL 115, which damaged the aircraft's rear pressure bulkhead.
- The subsequent repair of the bulkhead did not conform to Boeing's approved repair methods. For reinforcing a damaged bulkhead, Boeing's repair procedure calls for one continuous splice plate with three rows of rivets. However, the Boeing technicians carrying out the repair had used two splice plates parallel to the stress crack. Cutting the plate in this manner negated the effectiveness of one of the rows of rivets, reducing the part's resistance to fatigue cracking to about 70% of that for a correct repair. During the investigation, the Accident Investigation Commission calculated that this incorrect installation would fail after approximately 10,000 pressurization cycles; the aircraft accomplished 12,318 successful flights from the time that the faulty repair was made to when the crash happened.:101–105
- Consequently, after repeated pressurization cycles during normal flight, the bulkhead gradually started to crack near one of the two rows of rivets holding it together. When it finally failed, the resulting rapid decompression ruptured the lines of all four hydraulic systems and ejected the vertical stabilizer. With many of the aircraft's flight controls disabled, the aircraft became uncontrollable.:128
Aftermath and legacyEdit
The Japanese public's confidence in Japan Airlines took a dramatic downturn in the wake of the disaster, with passenger numbers on domestic routes dropping by one third. Rumors persisted that Boeing had admitted fault to cover up shortcomings in the airline's inspection procedures, thereby protecting the reputation of a major customer. In the months after the crash, domestic traffic decreased by as much as 25%. In 1986, for the first time in a decade, fewer passengers boarded JAL's overseas flights during the New Year period than the previous year. Some of them considered switching to All Nippon Airways as a safer alternative.
JAL paid ¥780 million (US$7.6 million) to the victims' relatives in the form of "condolence money" without admitting liability. JAL president Yasumoto Takagi resigned. In the aftermath of the incident, Hiroo Tominaga, a JAL maintenance manager, killed himself to atone for the incident, while Susumu Tajima, an engineer who had inspected and cleared the aircraft as flightworthy, committed suicide due to difficulties at work.
In compliance with standard procedures, Japan Air Lines dropped the flight number 123 for their Haneda-Itami routes, changing it to Flight 121 and Flight 127 on September 1, 1985. While Boeing 747s were still used on the same route operating with the new flight numbers in the years following the crash, they were replaced by the Boeing 767 or Boeing 777 in the mid-1990s. The 747s continued serving JAL until their 2011 retirement. March 2 of the same year saw the retirement of the airline's final two 747s, which were -400 series.
In 2009, stairs with a handrail were installed to facilitate visitors' access to the crash site. Japan Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara visited the site on August 12, 2010, to remember the victims. Families of the victims, together with local volunteer groups, hold an annual memorial gathering every August 12 near the crash site in Gunma Prefecture.
The crash led to the 2006 opening of the Safety Promotion Center, which is located in the Daini Sogo Building in the grounds of Haneda Airport. This center was created for training purposes to alert employees to the importance of airline safety and their personal responsibility to ensure safety. The center has displays regarding aviation safety, the history of the crash, and selected pieces of the aircraft and passenger effects (including handwritten farewell notes). It is open to the public by appointment made two months prior to the visit.
The captain's daughter, Yoko Takahama, who was a high school student at the time of the crash, went on to become a flight attendant for Japan Air Lines.
Japanese banker Akihisa Yukawa had an undisclosed second family at the time he died in the crash. (His wife had earlier suffered severe brain injuries.) His partner, pregnant with their second child, returned with her family to London, where she and Yukawa had met. To avoid embarrassment to Yukawa's family she accepted a settlement of £340,000 rather than claiming under the airline's compensation scheme. In 2002 the airline made an undisclosed payment enabling the two children, Cassie and Diana, to complete their education.
In popular cultureEdit
- The events of Flight 123 were featured in "Out of Control," a Season 3 (2005) episode of the Canadian TV series Mayday, which is entitled Air Emergency and Air Disasters in the U.S., and Air Crash Investigation in the UK and elsewhere around the world. The dramatization was broadcast with the title "Osutaka-no-One (御巣鷹の尾根)" in Japan. The flight was also included in a Mayday Season 6 (2007) Science of Disaster special, entitled "Fatal Flaw," which was broadcast with the title "Fatal Fix" in the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia.
- The documentary series Aircrash Confidential featured the crash in a second-season episode titled "Poor Maintenance," which first aired on March 15, 2012, on the Discovery Channel in the United Kingdom.
- The National Geographic Channel's documentary series Seconds From Disaster featured the accident in Season 6 Episode 6, titled "Terrified over Tokyo," released December 3, 2012.
- Climber's High, the best-selling novel by Hideo Yokoyama, revolves around the reporting of the crash at the fictional newspaper Kita-Kanto Shimbun. Yokoyama was a journalist at the Jōmō Shimbun at the time of the crash. A film released in 2008, and also titled Climber's High, is based on the novel.
- In 2009, the film Shizumanu Taiyō, starring Ken Watanabe, was released for national distribution in Japan. The film gives a semi-fictional account of the internal airline corporate disputes and politics surrounding the crash. However, the film does not mention Japanese Air Lines by name, using the name "National Airlines" instead. JAL not only refused to co-operate with the making of the film but also bitterly criticized the film, saying that it "not only damages public trust in the company but could lead to a loss of customers." Coincidentally, the movie features music by Diana Yukawa, whose father was one of the victims of this disaster.
- The cockpit voice recording (CVR) of the incident was incorporated into the script of a 1999 play called Charlie Victor Romeo.
- The 2004 album Reise, Reise by German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein is loosely inspired by the crash. The final moments of the cockpit voice recording is hidden in the pregap of the first track on some CD pressings of the album.
- In 2011, British academic Christopher Hood published a book, titled Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash, on the crash and its effect on Japanese society.
Similar accidents caused by major pressurisation failures:
- China Airlines Flight 611 – 2002
- British European Airways Flight 706 – 1971
- Far Eastern Air Transport Flight 103 – 1981
Similar accidents involving loss of flight controls:
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- Daly, Joe (May 1, 2019). "Rammstein - The Ultimate Celebration - Bang Bangers!". Metal Hammer UK. p. 55.
- Hollingworth, William (Kyodo News), "British academic to write account of 1985 JAL crash," Japan Times, July 22, 2007, p. 17.
- Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash (Routledge Official Website). Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- Aircraft Accident Report, English translation – Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission (East Asian fonts may need to be installed)
- (in Japanese) Aircraft Accident Report – Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission
- Learning from the Past Japan Air Lines
- Crash of Japan Air Lines B-747 at Mt. Osutaka
- JAL123 CVR (cockpit voice recorder) transcript
- JAL123 CVR (cockpit voice recorder) audio of the final moments of flight (Archive)
- The record of JAL123 (Japanese with English place names) (Archive)
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- Planesafe.org: JAL123 (Archive)
- The New York Times: J.A.L.'s Post-Crash Troubles