Spatial Disorientation Caused 2018 Helicopter Crash in Japan: Safety Board

Society Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)--The fatal helicopter crash in Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, in 2018 was caused by the pilot's spatial disorientation, or the inability to correctly interpret aircraft orientation, the Japan Transport Safety Board said on Thursday.

The 57-year-old pilot of the prefectural disaster response helicopter Haruna become unable to control it due to spatial disorientation, the board said.

All nine people aboard the helicopter were killed after it crashed into a mountainside on Aug. 10, 2018. The pilot was from Tokyo-based Toho Air Service Co.

The helicopter was flying in a clouded area at the time and visibility was poor. As a result, the pilot was unable to recognize the ground, experiencing spatial disorientation, the board said.

The helicopter was checking dangerous places to prepare for rescue activity on mountain trails straddling Gunma and Nagano Prefecture, central Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press