MaxAvSafety (History);Today's Major Liner Loss: Korean KE007-747 "Shot Down" 1983

MaxSez: I was in Okinawa with MAG-36 during this tragedy. We went on alert, our KC-130H’s moved to Iwakuni, JP in support of our Wing F-4 Group. Stood down within the week. Hairy times.

Date: Thursday 1 September 1983
Time: 03:26
Type: Boeing 747-230B
Operator: Korean Air Lines - KAL
Registration: HL7442
C/n / msn: 20559/186
First flight: 1972-03-17 (11 years 6 months)
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
Crew: Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 23
Passengers: Fatalities: 246 / Occupants: 246
Total: Fatalities: 269 / Occupants: 269
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: 37 km (23.1 mls) W off Sakhalinsk [Okhotsk Sea] ( Pacific Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature: International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC), United States of America
Destination airport: Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport (SEL/RKSS), South Korea
Flightnumber: KE007
Narrative:
Korean Airlines flight KE007, a Boeing 747-230B, arrived at Anchorage, AK (ANC) at 03:30 local time after a flight from New York-JFK< NY (JFK). At 05:00 the aircraft took off again from runway 32, bound for Seoul (SEL). The flight was cleared directly to the Bethel VOR beacon and then on to the Romeo 20 route. However, the aircraft started diverging from it’s intended course and passed 12 miles North of the Bethel beacon. While approaching the Kamchatka peninsula, six Soviet Air Force MiG-23 fighters were scrambled. Because a US Boeing RC-135 intelligence plane was flying in the area east off Kamchatka, the Soviet defence forces probably thought the B747 radar echo to be the RC-135. KAL 007 left Russian airspace over the Okhostk Sea and the fighters returned to their base. Passing abeam the Nippi waypoint (4 hours after takeoff), the aircraft was 185 miles off course and headed for Sakhalin. Two Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 fighters were scrambled from the Dolinsk-Sokol airbase at 17:42 UTC and 17:54 respectively. At 18:16 UTC flight 007 re-entered Soviet airspace. At 18:22 the Soviet command ordered destruction of the target (for the second time). Two air-to-air missiles were launched by one of the fighters and struck the Boeing at 18:26 (August 31, 03:26 local time September 1). Cabin pressure was lost and the aircraft suffered control problems, causing the Boeing to spiral down and crash into the sea.

(Avsafnet)

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What an interesting post max! Very intriguing I must say.

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Watched a program on this. Tragic story that really gives you a sense of the tensions between the US and Soviet Union at that time in history.

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Thank you Max for posting this. Always on top of things, I must say.

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Wow, this is truly one intriguing story!

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My dad flies the KC-135 in the reserves, and flew the B-1B on active duty for 13 years! @Maxmustang

Anyways what a sad story

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This is an extraordinary story. It could have changed the fate of humankind. Thankfully it didn’t, but it remains a sad remainder that one day you might wake up to a world totally different than yesterday because of one man’s decision.
Yet another amazing MaxAvSafety History Max! Looking forward to next week’s!

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This was very interesting. Nice story you have here Max. I should start reading them.

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This was because the pilot dorhot to change to magnetic heading right?

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