Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cessna 172P Skyhawk, JA3989, New Central Air Service: Fatal accident occurred June 03, 2017 in Tateyama, Japan

NTSB Identification: ANC17WA027
Accident occurred Saturday, June 03, 2017 in Tateyama, Japan
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration:
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On June 3, 2017, about 1450 Japan standard time (UTC +9), a Japanese registered Cessna 172P airplane, JA3989, operated by New Central Air Service, impacted snow-covered mountainous terrain near Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, under unknown circumstances about 27 minutes after takeoff from the Toyama Airport, Toyama Prefecture, en route to the Matsumoto Airport, Nagano Prefecture. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the pilot and three passengers received fatal injuries.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained by the Government of Japan. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) 
2-1-2, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-Ku, 
Tokyo 100-8918, Japan

One of the four people who died in Saturday’s plane crash in the Northern Alps was still alive after the accident and used a cellphone to call for help, the company that owned the aircraft said.

“Help! May body is trapped and I can’t move,” New Central Air Service quoted Katsuki Kasai, one of the four people aboard, as saying. The 21-year-old was in the back seat when their Cessna 172P Skyhawk went down in heavy fog in the town of Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture.

He called at around 2:50 p.m., about 30 minutes after the plane took off from Toyama Airport for the short training flight to Nagano. When an employee answered, Kasai repeated “Help!”

After identifying himself, Kasai said the plane was in snow and that the two occupants in front were unconscious, indicating a third person had also survived. Later, after he called the police, he called the company again to ask for rescue at around 3:15 p.m., the air service said at a news conference on Sunday.

The others killed in the crash were identified as pilot Takao Kinoshita, 57, Eiji Oguchi, 48, and Kazuki Higuchi, 22.

Search parties were launched to find the plane after the police were called, but the thick fog prevented them from locating the plane, and the caller made no further contact.

On Sunday, the plane’s wreckage was found at an elevation of 2,300 meters in thick snow.

Later Sunday, family members of the four rushed to the hospital in Toyama where the bodies were taken. After all four were confirmed dead, the bodies were handed over to the Toyama Prefectural Police, which briefed the families about the accident.

No one said a word as they were escorted to the police station, but they were heard sobbing from inside.

“We tried very hard to search through the area to find them. But we had to call it off (due to the fog),” a senior police official said.

Also on Sunday, Koichiro Hayashi, president of Maruyasu Kikai Co. in Nagano Prefecture, where three of the four worked, held a news conference to address their deaths.

“I had prayed for their survival, but it turned out to be the worst-case scenario. I cannot find any words to say when I think about their families,” Hayashi said.

Police will conduct autopsies on Monday to determine the cause of death and examine the soundness of the flight plan.


A Cessna 172P Skyhawk plane carrying four people crashed into a mountain on Saturday in central Japan, with all the passengers apparently hurt including two who were unconscious, police and the transport ministry said.

The crash occurred around 3 p.m. in the town of Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, when the Cessna 172P Skyhawk was traveling from Toyama airport to Matsumoto airport in neighboring Nagano Prefecture during what appeared to be a training flight, they said.

The police said they received an emergency phone call from a man believed to be one of the passengers on the crashed plane.

"Four people were hurt. Two are unconscious and two (others) are conscious," the man was quoted by the police as saying.

The four on board the aircraft were pilot Takao Kinoshita, 57, Eiji Oguchi, 48, Kazuki Higuchi, 22, and Katsuki Kasai, 21.

The crash occurred near the border with Nagano. The site is near Kurobe Dam, a popular tourist destination.

The police have not yet located the crash site partly due to thick fog.

The plane, owned by New Central Air Service Co., headquartered in Ibaraki Prefecture, was flying in poor weather conditions near the site, according to a local railway company. New Central Air Service said that Kinoshita is a veteran pilot with 35 years of experience.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said the plane left Toyama airport at 2:23 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Matsumoto airport in about an hour.


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