Korean Air Lines Flight 902

Korean Air Lines Flight 902

Infobox Airliner accident|name=Korean Air Lines Flight 902

Image caption=Artist's conception of KAL 902 flanked by Soviet Su-15s
Date=April 20, 1978
Type=Airliner shot down
Site=near Murmansk
Origin =Charles de Gaulle International Airport Paris, France
Destination = Gimpo International Airport Seoul, South Korea
Last stopover = Scheduled to stop at Anchorage International Airport Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Aircraft Type=Boeing 707
Operator=Korean Air Lines
Tail Number=HL7429

Korean Air Lines Flight 902 (KAL902, KE902) was the flight number of a civilian airliner which was involved in a shooting incident April 20, 1978, near Murmansk, Russia, after it violated Soviet airspace and allegedly failed to respond to Soviet interceptors.Fact|date=June 2008 Tapes released by Rovaniemi Area Control Centre show that the pilots of KAL902 had identified themselves. cite web
url= http://www.iltasanomat.fi/uutiset/ulkomaat/uutinen.asp?id=1555319
title= Tulitettu korealaiskone oli päätyä Suomeen 1978
accessdate= 2008-07-10
last= Tikka
first= Juha-Pekka
date= 2008-07-10
work= Ilta-Sanomat
publisher= Ilta-Sanomat Oy
language= Finnish
] Two passengers were killed when Soviet aircraft opened fire on the aircraft. 107 passengers and crew survived after the plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake.

The Boeing 707 aircraft (registration HL7429), piloted by Kim Chang Ky, left Paris, France on a course to Anchorage, Alaska, where it would refuel and proceed to Seoul, South Korea. The plane flew north past the Canadian Forces Station "Alert", located convert|400|mi|km from the North Pole. [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19780420-1 Aviation Safety Network for Korean Air Flight 902] ] It then changed its course, flying south; not toward Anchorage located at 149°53′W, but in the opposite direction toward Murmansk at 33°5′E. The aircraft was not fitted with an inertial navigation system, and the pilots failed to note the position of the sun, almost 180 degrees off from where it should have been. According to the official Korean explanation, the pilots in their navigation calculations used the wrong sign of magnetic declination when converting between magnetic and true headings. This caused the plane to fly in an enormous right-turning arc, which eventually caused the aircraft to fly north from Great Britain towards Iceland, arcing around Scandinavia and towards the Barents Sea into Soviet airspace. Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 'Flagon' fighters were scrambled after the plane, which was identified as a military U.S. plane (RC-135, an aircraft that shares common ancestry with the 707, like many other U.S. military airplanes).

According to Soviet reports, the intruder repeatedly ignored commands to follow the interceptors. Su-15 pilot Capt. A. Bosov was ordered to shoot it down after trying to convince his superiors on the ground that the aircraft was not a military threat. He fired a pair of R-60 missiles, one of which caused heavy damage to part of the left wing of the Boeing 707 and punctured the fuselage, causing rapid decompression, and killing two of the 97 passengers. After being hit, the airliner descended into cloud and was lost by the Su-15s. At 23:05, 40 minutes after the missile strike, it was finally forced by another SU-15TM (piloted by Anatoly Kerefov) to land on the frozen Korpijärvi Lake, convert|250|mi|km south of Murmansk and convert|20|mi|km from the Finland border. The 107 survivors were rescued by Russian helicopters.

The passengers were released after two days, while the crew were held for investigation and released after they made a formal apology. The Korean pilots acknowledged that they deliberately failed to obey the commands of the Soviet interceptors. The Soviet Union invoiced Korea for $100,000 in caretaking expenses. The passengers were flown with a Pan Am B727 from Murmansk to Helsinki, Finland from which another Korean Air B707 took them to Seoul.


* [http://nvo.ng.ru/history/2004-06-11/5_karelia.html KAL 902 fails to appear on time]

ee also

* List of airliner shootdown incidents
* Lists of accidents and incidents on commercial airliners
* Air safety
* Korean Air Lines Flight 007

External links

* [http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/Tech/Aviation/Disasters/78-04-20(KAL).asp Korean Airliner Shot Down By Soviets]
* [http://englishrussia.com/?p=1961#more-1961 Black-and-white photography of the KAL B-707 wreckage]

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