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Final pic taken inside doomed plane mins before smashing into MOUNTAIN in world’s worst jet crash that left 520 dead


A HARROWING image showing the final moments before the world’s worst single-jet crash has surfaced – almost four decades later.

The grainy photograph taken on board the fatal Japan Air Lines Flight reeks of fear, as an air steward solemnly looks down to put on an oxygen mask.

The last photo taken on board the fatal Japan Air Lines flight


The last photo taken on board the fatal Japan Air Lines flightCredit: Reddit
The plane crashed into one of the ridges on Mount Osutaka


The plane crashed into one of the ridges on Mount OsutakaCredit: Getty
All but four of the people on board the plane tragically died


All but four of the people on board the plane tragically diedCredit: AFP


To this day, the Japanese Air Lines Boeing 747 from Tokyo to Osaka on August 12, 1985, which only had four survivors, remains the world’s deadliest single-jet crash.

It is thought that the flight began as standard, with 509 passengers and 15 members of crew crowding onto the plane.

The plane had already been flown four times that day, and no concerns had been reported.

But, just minutes after taking off, Captain Masami Takahama and First Officer Yutaka Sasaki felt a tremor rip through the plane.

The aircraft quickly started to decompress, the ceiling started caving in by the back bathrooms, the fuselage was damaged, the vertical stabiliser completely destroyed, and all four hydraulic lines were severed.

The air condensed into a fog and forced the oxygen masks to drop down seconds after the tremor was felt.

In the midst of the chaos and confusion sweeping through the plane, a passenger somehow managed to take a photograph of these final moments, as the crew fought ardently to keep the 747 airborne.

Captain Takahama is reported to have used the engine thrust to ascend and descend in a desperate attempt to keep the plane level.

After 32 minutes of battle, Takahama realised the damage was too severe and the 747 started to spiral.

The fatal Japanese Air Lines flight had been locked into a phugoid cycle, trapped to dive thousands of feet before the nose points up and the plane ascends again.

World’s biggest plane-maker Boeing plunged into CRISIS after parts rain from sky and jet nose-dives

The vicious and dizzying cycle saw the plane diving and rising for just under 30 minutes.

Passengers screamed as they were thrust around the plane by the violent spiralling, while the pilots continued to fight against the end, desperately attempting to manoeuvre the plane to safety.

Takahama is thought to have yelled: “This is the end!”

Not long after, the tragic 747 crashed into a ridge on Mount Osutaka, just 62 miles northwest of Tokyo.

Around 20 minutes after impact, US Air Force serviceman Michael Antonucci reported the crash location.

Instead of sending a rescue team, Japanese authorities held off on the presumption that no one had survived, and ordered Antonucci not to talk about the crash.

The Japanese military sent the rescue teams in the following morning, a full 12 hours after the crash had been reported.

As Antonucci revealed ten years later: “Four people survived. Many more could have.

“At the time it occurred, I was ordered not to speak about it.”

One doctor who was involved in the rescue mission said: “If the discovery had come 10 hours earlier, we could have found more survivors.”

While survivor Yumi Ochiai said that she could hear other survivors screaming throughout the night, until they were picked off by the cold.

Antonucci added that had it “not been for efforts to avoid embarrassing Japanese authorities”, a team of US Marines could have searched the wreckage less than two hours after the crash.

As further rescue teams and investigative operations were sent in to recover body and plane parts, pieces of the puzzle started forming.

Two years later, after thorough investigation, Japan’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission officially concluded that the decompression was caused by a faulty repair by Boeing technicians.

The same plane had thudded heavily upon landing in Itami Airport on June 1978, resulting in severe tail damage.

The impact also cracked open the pressure bulkhead, which needed urgent repairs.

But, Boeing’s repair technicians used two spice plates parallel to the crack in the bulkhead, instead of one, meaning that the repair job was essentially ineffective.

Ron Schleede, a member of the US National Transportation Safety Board, said that the crew did everything they could, adding that the crash was “inevitable”.

World’s Worst Air Disasters

Tenerife Airport Disaster, 1977

On March 27, 1977, on the island of Tenerife two Boeing 747 jets collided on the runway in the deadliest accident in aviation history.

The accident occurred as a result of heady mix bombings, organisational issues and fog.

A bomb explosion at the airport on Gran Canaria caused many flights to be diverted Los Rodeos Airport on the popular holiday island.

Among two of the flights affected were KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, neither would leave the island.

Tragedy struck due to radio miscommunication causing the Dutch plane to rocket down the runway at take-off speed while the US aircraft was taxing in the opposite direction.

The resulting collision resulted in the death of 583 people.

Malaysian Airlines 370, 2014

The MH370 Boeing was seen for the last time on military radar at 2.14am, close to the south of Phuket Island in the Strait of Malacca.

Half an hour later, the airline lost contact with the plane. It had been due to land at around 6.30am.

On July 29, 2015 – more than a year after the plane’s disappearance – debris was found by volunteers cleaning a beach in St Andre, Reunion.

A week later investigators confirmed the debris did belong to MH370, but it did not help to locate the plane as it had drifted in the water.

Theories abound about what happened to the missing jet but the true cause of the crash may never be known.

Malaysian Airlines 17, 2014

Flight MH17 was as passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17 2014.

All passengers and crew perished putting the death toll at 298 in the deadliest case of “airliner shootdown” in history, 80 children was on board when it went down.

It was hit by a Russian made Buk surface to air missile fired from Ukrainian separatist held land near Donetsk.

Air France Flight 447, 2009

On June 1 2009 Air France Flight 447 disappeared off the radar off the coast of Brazil.

The airline took six hours to acknowledge the loss of the plane and no trace was found for days.

All 216 passengers and 12 crew were never seen again after the Rio to Paris flight crashed out of the sky.

Investigations went on to prove that the crash was caused by the pilot flying to high and stalling the engines causing the plane to fall out of the sky and into the Atlantic ocean.

Uruguayan Flight 571, 1972

The chartered Air Force plane carrying 45 people, including a Uruguayan rugby team, crashed in the Andes in South America.

More than a quarter of the passengers lost their lives on impact and a number of others quickly succumbed to the cold of the mountains or injuries sustained in the crash.

Of the 27 who survived the initial impact and cold a further eight were killed in an avalanche a few days after the incident.

Eventually 16 people were rescued after spending more than two months in the freezing conditions of the mountains.

But those survivors had been forced to eat the corpses of their fellow passengers when faced with starvation.

JAT Yugoslav Airlines Flight 367, 1972

The McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 model aircraft was blown up by a bomb placed on board by Croatian fascist militant group the Ustase as it made its way back to Yugoslavia from Sweden.

All but one of the 28 passengers and crew died on the plane but one stewardess made it into the record books.

Lockerbie Bombing, 1988

Pan Am Flight 103 was flying from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York on 21 December 1988.

While over the Scottish town of Lockerbie a bomb was detonated aboard the flight, killing all passengers and crew.

Eleven of the town’s residents on the ground were also killed by falling debris, bringing the death toll to 270.

American Airlines Flight 191, 1979

Moments after take-off the left engine of Flight 191 from Chicago to Los Angeles fell off.

The plane rolled over upside down and smashed into a field near O’Hare international airport.

A firefighter on the scene was quoted as saying that not a single complete body was found.

It was reported that the rescue mission was delayed by 12 hours


It was reported that the rescue mission was delayed by 12 hoursCredit: Getty
It is thought that far more survivors could have been saved if the US Marines had gone in first


It is thought that far more survivors could have been saved if the US Marines had gone in firstCredit: Getty
It has since emerged that the crash was the result of a faulty repair job several years prior


It has since emerged that the crash was the result of a faulty repair job several years priorCredit: Reddit
It is also thought that the crash was "inevitable"


It is also thought that the crash was “inevitable”Credit: Reddit

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