The accident happened in the early morning, in a gusty wind conditions. There were no survivors on board Flight Meteorologists in Japan had earlier issued an alert warning message to the airlines operating into NRT Airport. In the message, it indicated that " Pilots to expect strong gusts wind shear - a dangerous condition for planes coming in to land over at NRT Airport, the night before.
2 FedEx Pilots Killed In Fiery Japan Crash - CBS News
Transport ministry and other investigators believe the accident may have been caused by strong northwesterly winds buffeting the MD as it attempted to land at around a. It took about two hours to extinguish the blaze. The bodies of Capt. Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, and copilot Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, both Americans, were pulled from the cockpit at around 8 a. The runway was closed after the crash, causing incoming flights to be diverted, according to the transport ministry. Some of the runway lights were broken in the crash, he added.
It is highly probable that the left wing fractured as the load transferred from the left MLG to the left wing structure on the third touchdown surpassed the design limit ultimate load. It is highly probable that a fire broke out as the fuel spillage from the left wing caught fire, and the airplane swerved left off the runway rolling to the left and came to rest inverted on the grass area. The direct causes which the airplane fell into the porpoise phenomenon are as follows: a. Large nose-down elevator input at the first touchdown resulted in a rapid nose-down motion during the first bounce, followed by the second touchdown on the NLG with negative pitch attitude. Then the pitch angle rapidly increased by the ground reaction force, causing the larger second bounce, and b.
The aircraft became destabilized at flare and touchdown resulting in an unrecovered "bounced" landing with structural failure of the landing gear and airframe , and came to rest off the runway, inverted, and burning fiercely. The left wing struck the ground as the gear failed, causing the aircraft to veer to the left, burst into flames and invert as the airframe broke up, and came to rest upside down in the grass to the left of the runway. Captain Mosley, a former United States Marine Corps fighter pilot, had been with FedEx Express since July 1, and had accumulated more than 12, total career flight hours, including 3, hours on the MD The aircraft was built in  as an MD passenger airliner. This was the first fatal accident at Narita Airport.