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Last updated: 19 February 2019
Date:Wednesday 18 January 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8C model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-315Q MPA
Operator:Japan Coast Guard
Registration: JA720A
C/n / msn: 651
First flight: 2007
Total airframe hrs:2858
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:near Kitakojima Island (   Japan)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Okinawa-Naha Airport (OKA/ROAH), Japan
Destination airport:Ishigaki Airport (ISG/ROIG), Japan
A Bombardier DHC-8-315, JA720A operated by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) took off from Naha Airport at 14:48 local time for marine patrol flight over the East China Sea with the destination to Ishigaki Airport.
Immediately after the airplane made a left turn near Kitakojima Island, the pilot in command found four birds about 100 m ahead. However, there was no time to avoid the birds; accordingly, the airplane had head-on collision with one of them. The first officer also spotted the birds and tried to inform the captain; however, no time was left for him to do so. The event took place at 17:11 near Kitakojima Island at 1,000 ft when the airplane was flying at 170 kts.
The pilot in command looking toward the nose from cockpit confirmed there was damage to the nose. He decided to abort the mission and headed for Ishigaki Airport, the destination.
During the flight the indication of the left seat speedometer fluctuated more than that of the right one. Flight control system, engine and electric systems remained normal. The airplane uneventfully landed at the destination at 18:04.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSES: "In this accident the airplane sustained damage due to bird strike at 1,000 ft during marine patrol flight near Kitakojima island."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: JTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: AA2013-1
Download report: Final report

Bird strike
Forced landing on runway


photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-315Q MPA JA720A
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-315Q MPA JA720A
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-315Q MPA JA720A
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Okinawa-Naha Airport to Ishigaki Airport as the crow flies is 402 km (251 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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