56 Years ago today: On 4 March 1966 a Canadian Pacific Douglas DC-8-43 crashed on final approach to Tokyo, Japan, killing 64 out of 72 occupants.

Date:Friday 4 March 1966
Type:Douglas DC-8-43
Operator:Canadian Pacific Air Lines – CPAL
First flight:1965
Total airframe hrs:1792
Engines:Rolls-Royce Conway 508-12
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 54 / Occupants: 62
Total:Fatalities: 64 / Occupants: 72
Aircraft damage:Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND) (   Japan)
Phase:Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Hong Kong-Kai Tak International Airport (HKG/VHHH), Hong Kong
Destination airport:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT), Japan

Canadian Pacific Flight 402 took off from Hong Kong (HKG) at 16:14 Japan Time for Tokyo (HND). Tokyo was a planned stop on the route to Vancouver, Canada.
At 19:08 the aircraft started its descent from FL250. Because of bad weather at Tokyo, a holding pattern was entered at FL140. At 19:42 the flight crew decided to wait for improvement for 15 minutes. Alternate destination was Taipei. Tokyo ATC reported the runway Visual Range (RVR) to be 2400 feet and cleared the aircraft for an approach. The aircraft descended to 3000 feet, but the weather had worsened again, forcing the crew to divert to Taipei. At 20:05 the flight had reached 11500 feet when Tokyo reported the RVR to be improved to 3000 feet. Tokyo cleared Flight 402 for another GCA approach to runway 33R. At one mile from touchdown the aircraft was 20 feet below the GCA glide path and was instructed to level off momentarily. The aircraft continued to descend however and struck the no.14 approach light, 2800 feet from the runway threshold. The plane then struck a number of other approach lights, crashed against a sea wall and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “Pilot misjudged landing approach under unusually difficult weather conditions.”