Narrative:MD-11F cargo plane HL7373 was operating flight KE6316 from Shanghai's Honqiao Airport to Seoul. The plane was loaded with 68 tons of cargo and pushed back from it's stand. Shanghai Tower then cleared the flight as follows: "Korean Air six three one six clear to destination flight planned route flight level two niner zero. After departure turn left direct to November Hotel Whiskey. Initially climb and maintain niner hundred meters. Departure frequency one one niner zero five. Squawk six three one six." The engines were started and the airplane taxied to runway 18. Shortly after 4pm the flight was cleared for takeoff. After takeoff the first officer contacted Shanghai Departure and received clearance to climb to 1500 metres (4900 feet): "Korean Air six three one six now turn left direct to November Hotel Whiskey climb and maintain one thousand five hundred meters."
When the aircraft climbed to 4500 feet in the corridor, the captain, after receiving two wrong affirmative answers from the first officer that the required altitude should be 1500 feet, thought that the aircraft was 3000 feet too high. The captain then pushed the control column abruptly and roughly forward causing the MD-11 to enter a rapid descent. Both crew members tried to recover from the dive, but were unable. The airplane crashed into an industrial development zone 10 kilometers (6 miles) southwest of Hongqiao airport. The plane plunged to the ground, plowing into housing for migrant workers and exploded.
Loss of control
» ICAO Adrep Summary 3/2001 (#35)
Follow-up / safety actions
The South Korean Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced its decision to abolish Korean Air's license to operate its Seoul-Shanghai cargo route if Korean Air fails to defend itself at a hearing on June 19, 2001.
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 Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport to Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport as the crow flies is 860 km (538 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.