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Appeal court upholds acquittal of JAL pilot over fatal autopilot mishap
Last updated: 25 October 2014

published: 09 JAN 2007
by Harro Ranter, ASN

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An appeal court upheld a lower court`s acquittal of a former Japan Air Lines pilot over an autopilot mishap that left a cabin attendant dead. In July 2004, the district court found the pilot not guilty after concluding that he was not aware that his release of the autopilot would cause the aircraft to pitch up and down violently, resulting in the death a cabin attendant and injuries to 13 passengers and crewmembers.
In the appeal trial, prosecutors claimed that the defendant could have predicted that his release of the autopilot could cause the aircraft to pitch up and lead to an accident. The accident occurred on June 8, 1997 on a JAL MD-11 jet with 180 passengers and crewmembers. (Mainichi Daily News)