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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Someone trying to "screw" JAL

Last Saturday (June 20, 2009), Japan Airlines flight 914 from Okinawa to Haneda had to abort takeoff preparations due to security risks posted by one of the passengers.

 According to report on The Aviation Herald, the incident happened while the 747-400D with 484 passengers was holding on the runway waiting for takeoff clearance. The cabin crew spotted a passenger holding a 15 cm long screwdriver walking towards the cockpit. Even though the passenger eventually returned to his seat, the captain decided to return to the gate. And expectedly the passenger was arrested. The passenger admitted to the charges of attempted interference with the flight crew but did not provide a motive.

Japan does have some unusual aviation law. First the small lighter allowed per passenger causes inflight fire. And now the under 20 cm screwdriver they allowed was used as a weapon to interfere with the crew. I think we can live without either of those for a while when we are flying. Why don't they just ban these dangerous items onboard and save us the troubles. Maybe the rules are set long time ago while airplanes wasn't used as a weapon. Time to review the outdated rules!!!

On the other hand, the good news out of this is the flight load is pretty good. There are 546 seats (80J 466Y) on a 747-400D and they managed to fill 88.6% of them. I guess this route is safe from the axe in the coming restructure.

Source: The Aviation Herald

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