Disasters · Japan

Suicidal pilot crashes plane, kills 24

February 9, 1982
Tokyo Bay, Japan
Seiji Katagiri, pilot of Japan Air Lines Flight 350, intentionally crashes the plane in Tokyo Bay, killing 24 on board

Katagiri had allegedly been suicidal when he sabotaged the plane by engaging 2 of its engine thrust-reversers in flight. The plane’s First Officer and First Engineer attempted to restrain Katagiri and desperately tried to correct the damage already done, but the plane struck shallow water about 300 meters (980 feet) short of the runway. 24 passengers were killed, though 158 passengers and 8 crew members survived. Katagiri attempted to pretend to be an office worker when rescued, presumably to slip away in the chaos. He was tried but found not guilty by reason of insanity.

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