Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 31 August 2014
Status:
Date:Thursday 1 September 1983
Time:03:26
Type:Silhouette image of generic B742 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
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) show on map
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: 007
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 take-off), 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 2nd 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.

Classification:
Navigational error
Shot down by aircraft
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO


Photos

photo of Boeing 747-230B HL7442
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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Anchorage International Airport, AK to Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport as the crow flies is 6026 km (3766 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 747

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