Friday, 1 September 2017

On this day in history

On the 1st of September 1983 Korean Airlines flight KE007 arrived at Anchorage (ANC) at 03:30 local time after a flight from New York (JFK). At 05:00 the aircraft took off again from Anchorage on 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 Okhotsk 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 second time). Two air-to-air missiles were launched by one of the fighters and struck the Boeing at 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.

Aircraft Details are:
Operator: Korean Airlines
Aircraft Type: Boeing 747-230B
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
Registration: HL7442
Serial Number: 20559
Flight Number: KE 007
First Flight: 17/03/1972  (11 years 6 months) at time of accident
Previous Owner: Condor - D-ABYH Mar 1972 -Feb 1979

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