TOKYO — A flight attendant who survived the worst single-plane crash in history left the hospital today after seven months and flew again--on the same route that the ill-fated airplane followed when it hit a mountainside, killing 520 people.
"I still want to fly," said Yumi Ochiai, 27. "And I still want to continue as a flight attendant."
Ochiai boarded a commercial plane for the first time since JAL Flight 123 crashed in central Japan last Aug. 12, killing 520 of the 524 people aboard.
The flight attendant flew home to Osaka along the same route as that of the tragic Tokyo-to-Osaka flight that veered out of control before slamming into a mountain.
Ochiai, who suffered fractures of the pelvis and left arm in the crash, received rehabilitation therapy in a hospital in Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture, or state, 20 miles southwest of Tokyo.
JAL spokesman Geoffrey Tudor said it will be several months before the stewardess would be back on active duty.
"She needs to convalesce for a few more months," Tudor said. "It's impossible to say when she'll be back to work."
The crash's three other survivors, a 12-year-old girl, and a mother and daughter, were released from the hospital last year.