Miscellaneous Information on Boeing 747, fatal accidents, hull losses, and cargo data. 


                         British Airways Boeing 747-200/100. British Airways operates 16 Boeing 747 series 200 and 15

                         Boeing 747 series 100.

                         See more British Airways aircraft.

 Total in service

                    Series 200 - 16; Series

                    100 - 15

 Future

 deliveries/options:

  0/0

 Capacity

                    Series 200 - up to 425

                    passengers; 44,800 lbs

                    (20 tonnes) of cargo

                    Series 100 - 370

                    passengers and 34,832 lbs

                    (16 tonnes) of cargo

 Seating


                    First Class - 18 x 2:2, @ 62

                    ins (158 cm) pitch

                    New Club World Series-100

                    - 76 x 2:3:2, @ 50" pitch.

                    Series-200 - 66 x 2:3:2,

                    @ 50" pitch 

                    World Traveller - 285 x

                    3:4:3, @ 31 ins (79 cm)

                    pitch 

                    (Series 100 - 266 x 3:4:3,

                    @ 31" pitch. Series -200,

                    298 x 3:4:3 @ 31" pitch)

                    Two Class configuration

                    New Club World 47 x 2:3:2,

                    @ 50" pitch

                    World Traveller - 378 x

                    3:4:3, @ 31" pitch

 Range

                    Series 200 - 6,156 miles

                    (9,850 kms); Series 100 -

                    4,477 miles (7,163 kms)

 ULD Configuration

                    Compartment 1 - Eight

                    AKC/AKD/AKE

                    Compartment 2 - Eight

                    AKC/AKD/AKE

                    Compartment 3 - Two XAW

                    pallets/AAU/RAU

                    Compartment 4 - Two XAW

                    plus two or two XAW and

                    two AKE AKC/AKD

                    Compartment 5 -

                    Bulk-loaded cargo only

 Engines

                    Series 200 - Four

                    Rolls-Royce RB211-524D4X,

                    each producing 53,000 lbs

                    (236 KN) thrust;

                    Series 100 - Four Pratt &

                    Whitney JT9D-7, each

                    producing 46,300 lbs (206

                    KN) thrust.

 Take-off speed

                    Series 200 - 206 mph

                    (332 kph); Series 100 - 191

                    mph (306 kph)

 Cruising speed and

 height:

                    570 mph (917 kph/Mach

                    0.84), at 35,000 ft

                    (10,668 m) 

 Landing speed

                    Series 200 -182 mph (291

                    kph); Series 100 - 175 mph

                    (280 kph)

 Autoland capability:


                    Category 3A (Series 200 -

                    DH, 20 ft; landing RVR,

                    200 m; take-off RVR, 150 m

                    Series 100 - DH, 50 ft;

                    landing RVR, 300 m;

                    take-off RVR, 150 m) 

 Length

                    231ft 11ins (70.7m)

 Wingspan

                    195ft 9ins (59.6m) 

 Height

                    63 ft 4 ins (19.3 m)

 Fuselage width:

                    20 ft 11 ins (6.4 m)

 Fuel capacity:

                    Series 200 - 44,850

                    Imperial gallons (203,886

                    litres/163,047 kgs)

                    Series 100 - 39,310

                    Imperial gallons (178,701

                    litres/143,000 kgs) 

 Fuel consumption:

                    Series 200 - 2,837

                    Imperial gallons (12,897

                    litres/10,318 kgs) per hour

                    Series 100 - 3,049 Imperial

                    gallons (13,862

                    litres/11,090 kgs) per hour 

 Maximum take-off

 weight:

                    Series 200 - 820,000 lbs

                    (372 tonnes); Series 100 -

                    734,000 lbs (333 tonnes) 

 Landing gear:

                    16 main wheels (tyres 200

                    lbs sq in), two nose wheels

                    (tyres 200 lbs sq in) 

 Flight crew: 

                    Two pilots and one flight

                    engineer 

 Cabin crew: 

                    Up to 17 depending on

                    sector length 

 Utilisation:

                    Series 200 - 10.23

                    hours/day average an

                    aircraft;

                    Series 100 - 11.34 hours

                    average an aircraft 

 Introduced:

                    Series 200 - 1977 ; Series

                    100 - 1971 

 Average age:

                    Series 200 - 14.3 years;

                    Series 100 - 22.9 years 

 Routes:

                    Longhaul, mainly to North

                    America, the Caribbean,

                    Africa, and the Far East 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

747 Fatal Events

    1.20 November 1974; Lufthansa 747-100; Nairobi, Kenya: The aircraft was not properly configured for takeoff and stalled shortly after becoming airborne, crashing about 3600 feet (1100 meters)

        beyond the end of the runway. The crash killed 55 of the 140 passengers and 4 of the 17 crew. 

    2.27 March 1977; KLM 747-200 and Pan Am 747-100; Tenerife, Canary Islands: Because of limited visibility and communications difficulties between air traffic control and the KLM aircraft,

        the KLM 747 started its takeoff while the Pan Am aircraft was on the same runway. All 234 passengers and 14 crew were killed in the KLM 747. Nine of the 16 crew and 321 of the 380 passengers on

        the Pan Am flight were killed. 

    3.3 November 1977; El Al 747; over Belgrade, Yugoslavia: One passenger died after an decompression event.

    4.1 January 1978; Air India 747-200; Bombay, India: The plane crashed in the sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 190 passengers and 23 crew. Flight International magazine states that this accident

        was due to a failure of an attitude detector.

    5.19 November 1980; Korean Air Lines 747-200; Seoul, South Korea: The aircraft undershot its landing and impacted just short of the runway causing severe damage to the landing gear. The

        aircraft caught fire after it slid to a stop. Six of the 14 crew members and eight of the 198 passengers were killed. Also killed was one person on the ground. 

    6.16 August 1982; China Airlines 747; near Hong Kong: The aircraft encountered severe inflight turbulence. Two of the 292 passengers were killed.

    7.1 September 1983; Korean Air Lines 747-200; near Sakhalin Island, Soviet Union: The aircraft was shot down by at least one Soviet air to air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet

        airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed.

    8.27 November 1983; Avianca 747-200; near Madrid, Spain: The aircraft was approaching the Madrid airport at night when it descended too low and hit the ground. All 20 crew and 161 of the 172

        passengers were killed. 

    9.23 June 1985; Air India 747-200; Atlantic Ocean, near the Irish coast: The flight, which originated in Toronto and was en route to Bombay, had a bomb explode on board near the Irish coast.

        The aircraft broke up in flight and crashed into the sea. All 307 passengers and 22 crew were killed. 

  10.12 August 1985; Japan Air Lines 747SR; Mt. Ogura, Japan: The aircraft had a sudden decompression that damaged hydraulic systems and the vertical fin. That damage also disabled the flight

        controls for the rudder and elevator. All 15 crew members and 505 of the 509 passengers were killed. 

  11.5 September 1986; Pan Am 747; Karachi, Pakistan: Four hijackers attempted to take control of the aircraft while it was on the ground, but the flight crew departed through the cockpit escape hatch.

        About 16 passengers were killed before the hijacking ended. 

  12.28 November 1987; South African Airlines 747- 200 Combi; over Indian Ocean: The aircraft crashed during a flight between Taiwan and South Africa apparently due to a fire in the main deck        cargo area. All 141 passengers and 19 crew were killed. 

  13.5 April 1988; Kuwait Airways 747-200 Combi; Cyprus: Aircraft hijacked on flight out of Thailand. Two hostages were killed in Cyprus. 


  14.21 December 1988; Pan Am 747-100; near Lockerbie, Scotland: A bomb detonated in the forward cargo compartment led to an in flight breakup of the aircraft. All 16 crew and 243 passengers

        perished. 

        Offical AAIB accident report of this event

  15.24 February 1989; United Air Lines 747-100; near Hawaii: Forward cargo door blew out during climb and part of the fuselage and interior also blew out of the aircraft. Nine of the 336 passengers

        were killed. 

  16.20 February 1992; Aerolineas Argentinas 747; en route to Los Angeles from Argentina: One passenger died of food poisoning.

  17.11 December 1994; Philippine Airlines 747-200; Pacific Ocean: A small bomb detonated under a seat, killing one of the 287 passengers.

  18.17 July 1996; TWA 747-100; Atlantic Ocean near Long Island, NY: The aircraft was on a flight from New York to Paris and had a catastrophic in flight breakup shortly after departure. All 18

        crew and 212 passengers perished.

  19.5 September 1996; Air France 747-400; near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Severe turbulence associated with a weather front seriously injured three of the 206 passengers. One of the three

        passengers later died of injuries caused by an in flight entertainment screen.

  20.12 November 1996; Saudi Arabian Airlines 747-100; near New Delhi, India: The departing 747 had a midair collision with an inbound Kazakhstan Air Lines Ilyushin 76 cargo jet about seven

        minutes after the 747 had departed New Delhi. The collision occurred near Charkhi Dadri, about 60 miles (96 km) west of New Delhi. All 23 crew members and 289 passengers on the 747 were killed.

        The 10 crew members and 27 passengers on the Ilyushin were also killed.

  21.5 August 1997; Korean Air 747-300; Agana, Guam USA: The aircraft crashed about three miles (4.8 km) short of the runway during a night time approach in heavy rain. Twenty one of the 23

        crew members and 207 of the 231 passengers were killed.

  22.28 December 1997; United Airlines 747-100; over Pacific Ocean near Japan: The aircraft encountered severe turbulence during cruise about two hours after departing Japan. One of the 346

        passengers was killed. None of the 23 crew members were killed but three sustained serious injuries. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                Following is a listing of all Boeing 747 aircraft, damaged beyond repair in accidents. See references for a list of publications

                                                used to compile this listing. # 1) 06.09.70 () Boeing 747-121

                                                          N752PA (19656/34) Pan American World Airways

                                                          0 fatalities / 0 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Cairo IAP (Egypt) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Ground from: Amsterdam-Schiphol APT to: New York-John F. Kennedy IAP Flightnr.: PA93

                                                The aircraft was hijacked by two men just after leaving Amsterdam. The flight diverted to Beirut, where 7 others boarded the plane. The aircraft was

                                                flown to Cairo. All occupants were released and the aircraft was blown up. 

                                                Source: Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civilaviation : statisctics and narrative reports / FAA 

                                                # 2) 23.07.73 () Boeing 747-246B

                                                          JA-8109 (20503/180) Japan Air Lines - JAL

                                                          0 fatalities / 0 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Benghazi-Benina (Libya) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Ground from: Amsterdam-Schiphol APT to: Anchorage IAP Flightnr.: JA404

                                                Flight 404 was hijacked by 4 men and a woman, shortly after leaving Amsterdam. The woman hijacker got killed in an accidental explosion of the

                                                explosive device she was carrying. The aircraft landed at Dubai and later took off for Damascus and Benghazi. All passengers and crew were released

                                                and the aircraft blown up. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 3) 20.11.74 (ca. 07:50) Boeing 747-130

                                                          D-ABYB (19747/29) Lufthansa

                                                          59 fatalities / 157 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Nairobi-Wilson APT (Kenya) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Take-off from: Nairobi-Wilson APT to: Johannesburg-Jan Smuts APT Flightnr.: LH540

                                                Boeing 747 D-ABYB was taking off for the last leg of the Frankfurt-Nairobi- Johannesburg flight when the crew felt vibration or buffeting following lift

                                                off. The captain, suspecting wheel imbalance, raised the gear. A lack of acceleration forced the crew to lower the nose in order to maintain airspeed. The

                                                Boeing continued to descend however and contacted the ground 1120m past the end of Runway 24 and struck an elevated road 114m further on. The

                                                aircraft broke up and caught fire before coming to rest 454m past the initial point of impact. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by the

                                                crew initiating a take-off with the leading edge flaps retracted because the pneumatic system which operates them had not been switched on. This

                                                resulted in the aircraft becoming airborne in a partially stalled condition which the pilots did not identify in the short time available to them for recovery.

                                                Major contributory factors were the lack of warning of a critical condition of leading edge flap position and the failure of the crew to complete

                                                satisfactorily their checklist items." 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 4) 12.06.75 () Boeing 747-128

                                                          N28888 (20542/201) Air France

                                                          0 fatalities / 394 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Bombay (India) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Take-off from: Bombay to: Flightnr.: 

                                                During a 180ø turn at the beginning of Runway 27 the No.11 tire (on the right hand maingear) failed. During take-off the no.12 tire also failed. Wheels

                                                and braking assembly then started rubbing the runway, causing a fire. The take-off was aborted. Initial delay in shutting down the engines and an

                                                improper deployment of fire services caused the fire to spread. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 5) 09.05.76 () Boeing 747-131F

                                                          5-8104 (19677/73) Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

                                                          17 fatalities / 17 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Madrid; nr (Spain) Nature: Freight

                                                          Phase: Descent from: to: Madrid-Torrejon AFB Flightnr.: ULF48

                                                The aircraft was struck by lightning while descending through FL100 on its way to Torrejon AFB. The explosion in the no.1 fuel tank which followed

                                                caused severe damage to the left wing. 54 Seconds later the left wing failed and freighter crashed. POSSIBLE CAUSE: Ignition of fuel vapour in the

                                                ullage of the tank in the vicinity of a motor drive fuel valve. 

                                                Source: FI 15.5.76(1283) 

                                                # 6) 27.03.77 (17.06) Boeing 747-121

                                                          N736PA (19643/11) Pan American World Airways

                                                          335 fatalities / 396 occupants + 248

                                                          Location: Tenerife (Spain) Nature: Non Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: from: Tenerife-Norte Los Rodeos to: Las Palmas Flightnr.: PA1736

                                                At 12.30h a bomb explodes in the Las Palmas passenger terminal. Because of warnings of a possible second bomb, the airport was closed. A large

                                                number of flights were diverted to Tenerife, a.o. KLM Flight 4805 from Amsterdam and PanAm Flight 1736 (coming from Los Angeles and New York).

                                                Las Palmas Airport opened to traffic again at 15.00h. Because the PanAm passengers remained on aboard it was possible to leave Tenerife at once. The

                                                taxiways were congested by other aircraft however. This meant the PanAm crew had to backtrack on Runway 12 for take-off on Runway 30. The

                                                entrance to Runway 12 however, was blocked by the KLM Boeing. The PanAm flight had to wait for almost 2 hours before all KLM passengers (except

                                                1) had reboarded and refuelling had taken place. The KLM flight was then cleared to backtrack Runway 12 and make a 180deg. turn at the end. Three

                                                minutes later (at 17.02h) Pan Am 1736 was cleared to follow the KLM aircraft and backtrack Runway 12. The PanAm crew were told to leave the

                                                runway at the third taxiway and report leaving the runway. At 17.05:44h KLM 4805 reported ready for take-off and was given instructions for a Papa

                                                beacon departure. The KLM crew repeated the instructions and added "We are now at take-off". The brakes were released and KLM 4805 started the

                                                take- off roll. Tenerife tower, knowing that Pan Am 1736 was still taxying down the runway replied "OK ...... Stand by for take-off, I will call you." This

                                                message coincided with the PanAm crew's transmission "No ... uh we're stil taxiing down the runway, the Clipper 1736". These communications

                                                caused a shrill noise in the KLM cockpit, lasting approx. 3.74 seconds. Tenerife tower replied: "Papa Alpha 1736 report runway clear.", wereupon the

                                                PanAm crew replied: "OK, will report when we're clear". This caused some concerns with the KLM flight engineer asking the captain: "Is he not clear

                                                then?" After repeating his question the captain answers emphatically: "Oh, yes". A number of second before impact the KLM crew saw the PanAm

                                                Boeing still taxiing down the runway. The crew tried to climb away and became airborne after a 65ft taildrag in an excessive rotation. The PanAm crew

                                                immediately turned the aircraft to the right and applied full power. The KLM aircraft was airborne, but the fuselage skidded over the PanAm's aft

                                                fuselage, destroying it and shearing off the tail. The KLM aircraft flew on and crashed out of control 150m further on, sliding another 300m bursting

                                                into flames. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The KLM aircraft had taken off without take-off clearance, in the absolute conviction that this clearance had been

                                                obtained, which was the result of a misunderstanding between the tower and the KLM aircraft. This misunderstanding had arisen from the mutual use

                                                of usual terminology which, however, gave rise to misinterpretation. In combination with a number of other coinciding circumstances, the premature

                                                take-off of the KLM aircraft resulted in a collision with the Pan Am aircraft, because the latter was still on the runway since it had missed the correct

                                                intersection." 

                                                Source: Flight Safety Digest July 1995(1-10)/Flight Safety Foundation; ICAO Circular 153-AN/56 (p.22-68) Human factors report on the Tenerife

                                                accident / Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) 

                                                # 7) 27.03.77 (17.06) Boeing 747-206B

                                                          PH-BUF (20400/157) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

                                                          248 fatalities / 248 occupants + 335

                                                          Location: Tenerife (Spain) Nature: Non Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Take-off from: Tenerife-Norte Los Rodeos to: Las Palmas Flightnr.: KL4805

                                                At 12.30h a bomb explodes in the Las Palmas passenger terminal. Because of warnings of a possible second bomb, the airport was closed. A large

                                                number of flights were diverted to Tenerife, a.o. KLM Flight 4805 from Amsterdam and PanAm Flight 1736 (coming from Los Angeles and New York).

                                                Las Palmas Airport opened to traffic again at 15.00h. Because the PanAm passengers remained on aboard it was possible to leave Tenerife at once. The

                                                taxiways were congested by other aircraft however. This meant the PanAm crew had to backtrack on Runway 12 for take-off on Runway 30. The

                                                entrance to Runway 12 however, was blocked by the KLM Boeing. The PanAm flight had to wait for almost 2 hours before all KLM passengers (except

                                                1) had reboarded and refuelling had taken place. The KLM flight was then cleared to backtrack Runway 12 and make a 180deg. turn at the end. Three

                                                minutes later (at 17.02h) Pan Am 1736 was cleared to follow the KLM aircraft and backtrack Runway 12. The PanAm crew were told to leave the

                                                runway at the third taxiway and report leaving the runway. At 17.05:44h KLM 4805 reported ready for take-off and was given instructions for a Papa

                                                beacon departure. The KLM crew repeated the instructions and added "We are now at take-off". The brakes were released and KLM 4805 started the

                                                take- off roll. Tenerife tower, knowing that Pan Am 1736 was still taxying down the runway replied "OK ...... Stand by for take-off, I will call you." This

                                                message coincided with the PanAm crew's transmission "No ... uh we're stil taxiing down the runway, the Clipper 1736". These communications

                                                caused a shrill noise in the KLM cockpit, lasting approx. 3.74 seconds. Tenerife tower replied: "Papa Alpha 1736 report runway clear.", wereupon the

                                                PanAm crew replied: "OK, will report when we're clear". This caused some concerns with the KLM flight engineer asking the captain: "Is he not clear

                                                then?" After repeating his question the captain answers emphatically: "Oh, yes". A number of second before impact the KLM crew saw the PanAm

                                                Boeing still taxiing down the runway. The crew tried to climb away and became airborne after a 65ft taildrag in an excessive rotation. The PanAm crew

                                                immediately turned the aircraft to the right and applied full power. The KLM aircraft was airborne, but the fuselage skidded over the PanAm's aft

                                                fuselage, destroying it and shearing off the tail. The KLM aircraft flew on and crashed out of control 150m further on, sliding another 300m bursting

                                                into flames. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The KLM aircraft had taken off without take-off clearance, in the absolute conviction that this clearance had been

                                                obtained, which was the result of a misunderstanding between the tower and the KLM aircraft. This misunderstanding had arisen from the mutual use

                                                of usual terminology which, however, gave rise to misinterpretation. In combination with a number of other coinciding circumstances, the premature

                                                take-off of the KLM aircraft resulted in a collision with the Pan Am aircraft, because the latter was still on the runway since it had missed the correct

                                                intersection." 

                                                Source: Flight Safety Digest July 1995(1-10)/Flight Safety Foundation; ICAO Circular 153-AN/56 (p.22-68) Human factors report on the Tenerife

                                                accident / Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) 

                                                # 8) 01.01.78 (ca. 20:15) Boeing 747-237B

                                                          VT-EBD (19959/124) Air India

                                                          213 fatalities / 213 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Arabian Sea, off Bandra (India) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Climb from: to: Dubai IAP Flightnr.: AI855

                                                The aircraft left Bombay-Santa Cruz Airport for a flight to Dubai (Flight AI855). Following a right turn, the aircraft rolled to the left beyond 90ø, lost

                                                control and crashed into shallow (10m deep) water, 3km offshore at an angle of 35-40ø. PROBABLE CAUSE: The Attitude Director Indicator (ADI)

                                                probably malfunctioned during the right turn, which led to a complete loss of situational awareness of the crew memebers. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 9) 19.11.80 () Boeing 747-2B5B

                                                          HL-7445 (21773/366) Korean Air Lines - KAL

                                                          14 fatalities / 212 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Seoul-Kimpo IAP (Korea) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Landing from: to: Seoul-Kimpo IAP Flightnr.: 

                                                The aircraft struck a 45ø embankent slope 2.4m from the top, crashed on Runway 14, broke up and caught fire. Weather at the time of the accident

                                                was a visibility 1000m, fog, temperature 2deg. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 10) 04.08.83 () Boeing 747-121

                                                          N738PA (19645/14) Pan American World Airways

                                                          0 fatalities / 243 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Karachi IAP (Pakistan) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Landing from: to: Karachi IAP Flightnr.: 

                                                The aircraft touched down on a wet runway and reverse thrust was applied on all engines, except no.4 (of which the reverser had been de-activated).

                                                When coming out of reverse, the no.4 engine reached 1.4199 EPR, causing the Boeing th yaw to the left and depart the runway 2400m past the

                                                threshold. PROBABLE CAUSE: Inadvertent application of power on the no.4 engine while coming out of reverse. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 11) 01.09.83 (18.26) Boeing 747-230B

                                                          HL-7442 (20559/186) Korean Air Lines - KAL

                                                          269 fatalities / 269 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Okhotsk Sea () Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Cruise from: Anchorage IAP, AK to: Seoul-Kimpo IAP Flightnr.: KE007

                                                The Boeing arrived at Anchorage at 03.30 local time after a flight from New York. At 05.00h the aircraft took off again from Runway 32, bound for

                                                Seoul. 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 12mls North of the Bethel beacon. While approaching the Kamchatka peninsula, 6 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 beacon

                                                (4hrs after take-off), the aircraft was 185mls off course and headed for Sakhalin. Two Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 fighters were scrambled from the

                                                Dolinsk-Sokol airbase at 17.42h UTC and 17.54 respectively. At 18.16h UTC flight 007 re-entered Soviet airspace. At 18.22h the Soviet command

                                                ordered destruction of the target (for the 2nd time). Two air-to-air missiles were lauched by one of the fighters and struck the Boeing at 18.26h. Cabin

                                                pressure was lost and the aircraft suffered control problems, causing the Boeing to spiral down and crash into the sea. 

                                                Source: See: Special section

                                                # 12) 27.11.83 (00.06) Boeing 747-283B

                                                          HK-2910 (21381/311) Avianca

                                                          181 fatalities / 192 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Madrid-Barajas APT; 12km SE (Spain) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Final Approach from: Paris-Charles de Gaulle to: Madrid-Barajas Flightnr.: AV011

                                                Avianca Flight 011 took off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 22.25h for a flight to Bogota via Madrid. The crew intercepted the ILS (for an approach to

                                                Runway 33) on the wrong track and continued to descend below MDA. This led to some problems with inserting the Madrid VOR coordiantes in the

                                                aircraft's INS (inertial navigation system), which caused the pilot to initiate a right turn short of the VOR beacon (the point were he should have made

                                                the turn). The right maingear and no.4 engine suddenly contacted a hill at an altitude of 2247ft and a speed of 142kts. Three seconds later the aircraft

                                                impacted a second hill at a sped of 135kts and a 4,9deg. nose-up attitude. Six seconds after contacting the 2nd hill, the aircraft (at 126kts) hit the

                                                ground with the right wing, which broke off. The Boeing cartwheeled and broke in five pieces and came to rest upside down. PROBABLE CAUSE:

                                                "The pilot-in-cormnand, without having any precise knowledge of his position, set out to intercept the ILS on an incorrect track without initiating the

                                                published instrument approach manoeuvre; in so doing he descended below all; the area safety minima until he collided with the ground. Contributory

                                                factors were: a) Inaccurate navigation by the crew, which placed them in an incorrect position for initiating the approach manoeuvre.; b) Failure of the

                                                crew to take corrective action in accordance with the operating instructions of the ground proximity warning system.; c) Deficient teamwork on the

                                                flight deck.; d) Imprecise position information supplied to the aircraft by APP.; e) The APP controller, in failing to inform the aircraft that radar service

                                                had terminated, did not maintain a proper watch on the radar scope." (Accident Investigation Board, Spain) 

                                                Source: ICAO Circular 196-AN/119 (105-107, incomplete) 

                                                # 13) 16.03.85 () Boeing 747-3B3

                                                          F-GDUA (22870/573) Union de Transportes A‚riens - UTA

                                                          0 fatalities / 0 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France) Nature: 

                                                          Phase: Ground from: - to: - Flightnr.: 

                                                Destroyed by fire. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 14) 23.06.85 (07.15 GMT) Boeing 747-237B

                                                          VT-EFO (21473/330) Air India

                                                          329 fatalities / 329 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Atlantic Ocean () Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Cruise from: Montreal-Mirabel IAP to: London-Heathrow APT Flightnr.: AI182

                                                The aircraft left Toronto almost 2 hours late due to the installation of a 5th spare engine, fitted below the left wing. The engine had to be ferried for

                                                repairs in India. After a stopover at Montreal, Flight 182 continued to London. At 07.15h GMT the aircraft suddenly disappeared from radar screens.

                                                An explosion had occurred at FL310, causing a rapid decompression, followed by an inflight break-up. The aircraft crashed into the 2000m deep ocean

                                                off Shannon. PROBABLE CAUSE: A bomb, placed on board by a Sikh terrorist, caused an explosion, powerful enough to cause an inflight break-up. 

                                                Source: Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistical and narrative reports / FAA; Aviation disasters / D. Gero (p.

                                                182-183); Air Disasters / S. Stewart; Flight International 1.11.86 + 18.10.86 

                                                # 15) 12.08.85 (18.56) Boeing 747-SR46

                                                          JA-8119 (20783/230) Japan Air Lines - JAL

                                                          520 fatalities / 524 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Tokyo; nr (Japan) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Climb from: Tokyo-Haneda IAP to: Osaka IAP Flightnr.: JL123

                                                JAL Flight 123 took off from Tokyo-Haneda at 18.12h for a flight to Osaka. At 18.24h, while climbing through 23900ft at a speed of 300kts, an unusual

                                                vibration occurred. An impact force raised the nose of the aircraft and control problems were experienced. Two minutes later hydarulic pressure had

                                                dropped and ailerons, elevators and yaw dumper became inerative, followed by dutch roll and plughoid oscillations (unusual movement in which

                                                altitude and speed change significantly in a 20-100sec. cycle without change of angle of attack). The aircraft started to descend to 6600ft while the crew

                                                tried to control the aircraft by using engine thrust. Upon reaching 6600ft the airspeed had dropped to 108kts. The aircraft then climbed with a 39deg.

                                                angle of attack to a maximum of approx. 13400ft and started to descend again. JAl123 finally brushed against a tree covered ridge, continued and

                                                struck another ridge, bursting into flames. PROBABLE CAUSE: "Deterioration of flight characteristics and loss of primary flight controls due to rupture

                                                of the aft pressure bulkhead with subsequent ruptures of the tail, vertical fin and hydraulic flight control systems. The reason for the aft pressure

                                                bulkhead rupture was that its strength was reduced by the fatigue cracks propagating in the spliced portion of the bulkhead's webs. The initiation and

                                                propagation of the fatigue cracks are attributable to the improper repairs of the bulkhead, conducted in 1978, and since the fatigue cracks were not

                                                found in the later maintenance inspections, this contributed to the accident." 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 16) 02.12.85 () Boeing 747-228B

                                                          F-GCBC (22427/485) Air France

                                                          0 fatalities / 273 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Landing from: to: Flightnr.: 

                                                The aircraft veered off the runway on landing, crossed a ditch and collided with a concrete ramp. It appeared that the no.1 engine throttle cable had

                                                broken, making it impossible for the flightcrew to control engine power. The engine had accellerated to an unusually high level of (forward) thrust

                                                (above take-off power). 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 17) 28.11.87 (00:07 UTC) Boeing 747-244B

                                                          ZS-SAS (22171/488) South African Airways - SAA

                                                          159 fatalities / 159 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Indian Ocean () Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Descent from: Taibei-Chang Kai Shek IAP to: Flightnr.: SA295

                                                South African flight 295 took off from Taibei at 14.23, carrying 159 occupants and 6 pallets of cargo in the main deck cargo hold. At 23.49h the crew

                                                reported Mauritius Approach control they had a fire on board. An emergency descent to FL140 was carried out. Mauritius ATC cleared the aircraft to

                                                FL50, followed by a approach clearance. The captain's response was the last radio contact with SA295. It appeared that a fire had started in the cargo

                                                pallet at position PR. The aircraft had somehow lost control, broke up and crashed into the Ocean. PROBALE CAUSE: Fire of an unknown origin had

                                                possibly: 1) incapacitated the crew; 2) caused desorientation of the crew due to thick smoke; 3) caused crew distraction; 4) weakened the aircraft

                                                structure, causing an inflight break-up.; 5) burned through several control cables; 6) caused loss of control due to deformation of the aircraft fuselage. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 18) 21.12.88 (19.03) Boeing 747-121A

                                                          N739PA (19646/15) Pan American World Airways

                                                          259 fatalities / 259 occupants + 11

                                                          Location: Lockerbie (UK) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Cruise from: London-Heathrow APT to: New York-John F. Kennedy IAP Flightnr.: PA103

                                                Flight PA103 departed London-Heathrow Runway 27R for New York at 18.25. The aircraft levlled off at FL310 31 minutes later. At 19.03 Shanwick

                                                Oceanic Control transmitted an oceanic clearance. At that time an explosion occurred in the aircraft's forward cargo hold at position 4L. The explosive

                                                forces produced a large hole in the fuselage structure and disrupted the main cabin floor. Major cracks continued to propagate from the large hole while

                                                containers and items of cargo ejected through the hole, striking the empennage, left- and right tailplane. The forward fuselage and flight deck area

                                                separated when the aircraft was in a nosedown and left roll attitude, peeling away to the right at Station 800. The nose section then knocked the No.3

                                                engine off its pylon. The remaining aircraft disintegrated while it was descending nearly vertically from 19000ft to 9000ft. A scetion of cabin floor and

                                                baggage hold (from approx. Station 1241-1920) fell onto housing at Rosebank Terrace, Lockerbie. The main wing structure struck the ground with a

                                                high yaw angle at Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie causing a massive fire. The Semtex bomb which caused the explosion had probably been hidden in a

                                                radio cassette player and was transferred to PA103 from a Pan Am Boeing 727 flight, arriving from Frankfurt. The Polular Front for the Liberation of

                                                Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) was probably the organisation responsible for the bombing. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The in-flight disintegration of

                                                the aircraft was caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device located in a baggage container positioned on the left side of the forward

                                                cargo hold at aircraft station 700." (Accident Report 2/90) 

                                                Source: ICAO Circular 260-AN/154 (133-188); ASW 12.4.93(3); AW&ST 2.1.89 (28-32) 

                                                # 19) 19.02.89 (06.36) Boeing 747-249F

                                                          N807FT (21828/408) Flying Tiger Line

                                                          4 fatalities / 4 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Kuala Lumpur; 7,5 mls (Malaysia) Nature: Freight

                                                          Phase: Final Approach from: to: Kuala Lumpur-Subang IAP Flightnr.: FT66

                                                The Boeing crashed into a wooded hillside, while on an NDB approach to Runway 33. The aircraft had descended 1800ft below minimum altitude and

                                                collided with a hill at 600ft MSL. PROBABLE CAUSE: Non-standard phraseology was used by Kuala Lumpur ATC, causign the the crew to

                                                misinterpret the instructions. 

                                                Source: ICAO Adrep Summary; AW&ST 27.02.89 (24); FI 17- 12.01.90 (44) 

                                                # 20) 07.05.90 () Boeing 747-237B

                                                          VT-EBO (20558/188) Air India

                                                          0 fatalities / 215 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Delhi (India) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Landing from: London-Heathrow APT to: Delhi-Indira Gandhi IAP Flightnr.: AI132

                                                The Boeing 747 touched down at Delhi after a flight from London. On application of reverse thrust, a failure of the no.1 engine pylon to wing

                                                attachment caused this engine to tilt nose down. Hot exhaustion gasses caused a fire on the left wing. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

                                                PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused due to the migration of the improperly installed diagonal-brace aft fuse-pin of the No.1 engine from its

                                                fitting which substantially reduced the load carrying capability of the engine fittings resulting in failure of the upper-link forward fuse pin due to

                                                excessive loads on account of probably improper landing leading to a partial separation of engine and fire." 

                                                Source: NTSB/SIR-94/02 (p. 16) 

                                                # 21) 18.02.91 () Boeing 747-136

                                                          G-AWND (19764/107) British Airways

                                                          0 fatalities / 0 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Kuwait City IAP (Kuwait) Nature: -

                                                          Phase: Ground from: - to: - Flightnr.: -

                                                The aircraft was at Kuwait Airport during the Iraqi invasion of August 2, 1990 and blown up by Iraqi forces when allied forced intervened. 

                                                Source: 

                                                # 22) 29.12.91 (ca 15.05) Boeing 747-2R7F

                                                          B- 198 (22390/482) China Airlines

                                                          5 fatalities / 5 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Wanli; nr (Taiwan) Nature: Freight

                                                          Phase: Climb from: Taibei-Chang Kai Shek IAP to: Anchorage IAP Flightnr.: CI358

                                                The aircraft was climbing through 5200ft when the no.3 engine separated from the wing. The engine struck the no.4 engine, which separated also.

                                                Control was lost and the aircraft crashed into a hillside at 700ft. The aircraft had accumulated 45868 hours and 9094 cycles. PROBABLE CAUSE: Initial

                                                findings suggest a failure of both no.3 engine inboard midspar fittings, partly in fatigue partly ductile. 

                                                Source: S152; Aircraft Accident Report 92-11 El Al Flight 1862 ... / Netherlands Aviation Safety Board (p.32); AW&ST 6.1.92 (23); fi 8-14.1.92 (11) 

                                                # 23) 04.10.92 (17.35 UTC) Boeing 747-258F

                                                          4X-AXG (21737/362) El Al

                                                          4 fatalities / 4 occupants + 47

                                                          Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands) Nature: Freight

                                                          Phase: Climb from: Amsterdam-Schiphol APT to: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Flightnr.: LY1862

                                                PROBABLE CAUSE: "The design and certification of the B747 pylon was found to be inadequate to provide the required level of safety. Furthermore the

                                                system to ensure structural integrity by inspection failed. This ultimately caused - probably initiated by fatigue in the inboard midspar fuse-pin - the no.3

                                                pylon and engine to separate from the wing in such a way that the no.4 pylon and engine were torn off, part of the leading edge of the wing was

                                                damaged and the use of several systems was lost or limited. This subsequently left the flight crew with very limited control of the airplane. Because of the

                                                marginal controllability a safe landing became highly improbable, if not virtually impossible." 

                                                Source: Aircraft Accident Report 92-11 El Al Flight 1862 Boeing 747-258F 4X-AXG Bijlmermeer, Amsterdam October 4, 1992 / Netherlands Aviation

                                                Safety Board; NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-117 

                                                # 24) 04.11.93 () Boeing 747-409

                                                          B- 165 (24313/966) China Airlines

                                                          0 fatalities / 396 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Hon Kong-Kai Tak APT (Hong Kong) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Landing from: to: Hon Kong-Kai Tak APT Flightnr.: CI605

                                                The aircraft skidded off the wet runway and ended up in shallow water. The flight landed with heavy crosswinds, caused by tropical storm Ira. 

                                                Source: ASW 8.11.93(4) + ASW 13.12.93(6) + ASW 28.3.94(3); Air Letter No. 13,186 - 20.2.95 (1) 

                                                # 25) 20.12.95 (11.36 EST) Boeing 747-136

                                                          N605FF (20271/172) Tower Air

                                                          0 fatalities / 468 occupants + 

                                                          Location: New York-John F. Kennedy IAP (USA) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Take-off from: New York-John F. Kennedy IAP, NY to: Miami IAP Flightnr.: FF41

                                                Flight 41, bound for Miami was pushed back from the gate at 10.36h. At 11.00h deicing procedures were started at 11.00h, using both Type I and Type

                                                II fluids. The crew received clearance for Runway 4L at 11.16h and started to taxy slowly towards the assigned runway. The aircraft was stopped on

                                                the taxiway to clear the engines of any ice by increasing power to 45% N1 for 10 seconds. The aircraft continued and the flight was cleared to taxi in

                                                position and hold at 11.32h and got take-off clearance at 11.36h. The take-off was normal, until shortly before 80kts. The aircraft started to move to the

                                                left; corrections by the crew were ineffective. The captain then aborted the takeoff by retarding powerlevers to idle and by applying maximum braking.

                                                He didn't use reverse thrust, because of the slow speed, long runway and the possibility that it could worsen directional control. At 2100ft past the

                                                threshold, the 747 departed the left side of the runway. The aircraft finally struck a transformer, causing the no,4 engine to separate. The Boeing came

                                                to rest at 4800ft past the threshold and 600ft to the left of the runway centerline with the nosegear collapsed. PROBABLE CAUSE" The captain's failure

                                                to reject the takeoff in a timely manner when excessive nosewheel steering tiller inputs resulted in a loss of directional control on a slippery runway.

                                                Inadequate Boeing 747 slippery runway operating procedures developed by Tower Air, Inc., and the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group and the

                                                inadequate fidelity of Boeing 747 flight training simulators for slippery runway operations contributed to the cause of this accident. The captain's

                                                reapplication of forward thrust before the airplane departed the left side of the runway contributed to the severity of the runway excursion and damage

                                                to the airplane." (NTSB) 

                                                Source: AW&ST 1.1.96(31); Knipselkrant Luchtvaart 52-1995; S201(50); ASW 29.01.96(6) + 05.02.96(7) + 26.02.96(7) + 4.11.96 (8); NTSB Safety

                                                Recommendations A-96-45 through -47 

                                                # 26) 17.07.96 (20.31 EDT) Boeing 747-131

                                                          N93119 (20083/153) Trans World Airlines - TWA

                                                          230 fatalities / 230 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Long Island, off (USA) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Climb from: New York-John F. Kennedy IAP, NY to: Paris-Charles de Gaulle Flightnr.: TW800

                                                Source: AW&ST 22.07.96 (20-27) + 29.07.96 (26-32) + 05.08.96 (28-33) + 12.08.96 (33-35) + 19.08.96 (84-87) + 26.08.96 (30-31) + 02.09.96 (75, 77) +

                                                23.09.96 (36- 38) + 19.05.97 (32) + 14.07.97 (58-62) ; FI 9- 15.10.96(6) 

                                                See: Special section

                                                # 27) 12.11.96 (18.40) Boeing 747-168B

                                                          HZ-AIH (22748/555) Saudia

                                                          312 fatalities / 312 occupants + 37

                                                          Location: Charki Dadri; 3mls (India) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Climb from: Delhi-Indira Gandhi IAP to: Dhahran IAP Flightnr.: SV763

                                                Air Kazakhstan Flight 1907 had taken off from Chimkent for a flight to New Delhi and was inbound to Delhi on Airway G452, descending to FL150.

                                                Saudia Flight 763 had taken off from New Delhi at 18.32h for a scheduled flight to Dhahran and Jeddah. The aircraft followed the Parvi SID and

                                                climbed to FL140. Apparently the Kazakh aircraft had descended below its assigned altitude and was flying at 14500ft when the crew were told there

                                                was a Saudi Boeing 747 8 miles away at FL140. Thirteen seconds later the Ilyushin had descended another 310ft. Shortly afterwards both aircraft

                                                collided, plummeted down in flames and crashed in an arid farming area. 

                                                Source: AW&ST 18.11.96 (34-36); IHT 6.5.97 

                                                Pilot eror focus of India Collision investigation - Nov. 14, 1996 India buries, cremates victims of air disaster - Nov. 14, 1996 

                                                # 28) 05.08.97 (01.50) Boeing 747-3B5

                                                          HL7468 (22487/605) Korean Air

                                                          223 fatalities / 254 occupants + 

                                                          Location: Guam-Agana IAP; nr (USA) Nature: Scheduled Passenger

                                                          Phase: Final Approach from: Seoul-Kimpo IAP to: Flightnr.: KE801

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 747 Special Freighter

Cargo -

Containers & Pallets

Containers, pallets and unique cargo the 747 Special Freighter carries them all. 

Industry-standard pallets. The 747 Special Freighter can handle a wide variety of industry-standard pallets and containers, including those measuring 88 in. by 108 in., 88 in. by 125 in., 96 in. by 117 3/4 in., and 96 in. by 125 in. Compartment equipment can handle containers 8 ft. wide and up to 20 ft. long. 

Unique cargo. The 747 Special Freighter also carries unique and oversized cargo so well that air cargo shippers have found it satisfies almost all of their shipping needs. It easily handles large cargo items such as: 

* Automobiles and boats

* Heavy machinery

* Drilling equipment

* Airplanes and/or helicopters

In addition, an environmental control system can provide conditioned air in the cargo hold to allow the 747 Special Freighter to carry: 

* Live animals

* Perishable foods

* Cut flowers and vegetables

Unit Load Device (ULD). Geometry of the various ULDs are shown below. 

Internal volumes determined by SAE Aerospace Standard 1825 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

747 Freighter Conversion - Basic Pallet Arrangements 

The 747 converted freighter can accommodate several types of cargo loads. The basic arrangements for the standard 96 in. by 125 in. commercial pallets are shown. Up to (38) 96 in. by 125 in. pallets can be carried in the converted freighter. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cargo Height, Weight, and Volume Capacities 

Heights and floor strength. Cargo height capacities and floor strength for the 747 Special Freighter are shown in the figure. Beneath the upper deck, pallet height is restricted to 86 in. and container height to 96 in. All other positions on the main deck and accommodate cargo 118 in. high. 

Weight distribution. The figure shown compares the maximum weight per pallet position that can be carried by the 747 Special Freighter. Its floor strength provides flexibility to carry a wide range of loads. 

Volume capacity. The 747 Special Freighter excels in cargo-carrying capacity. It can carry over 26,000 cu. ft. of cargo as shown in the illustration. 

  Main deck cargo (pallets): 

- 8 foot high pallets 

- 10 foot high pallets 20,550 cu. ft.

  Forward lower lobe compartment (containers): 2,800 cu. ft.

  Aft lower lobe compartment (containers): 2,450 cu. ft.

  Bulk cargo: 800 cu. ft.

  Total: 26,600 cu. ft.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Lower Lobe 

Lower lobe cargo compartments. The two lower lobe cargo compartments, which provide 5250 cu. ft. of cargo space, can accept either full-width 350 cu.ft. (9.9 cu.m.), half-width LD-1 175 cu.ft. (4.9 cu.m.) containers as well as 88 in. by 108 in. and 96 in. by 125 in. pallets. both compartment doors are on the right side of the airplane and provide a clear opening of 104 in. by 66 in. As an option, we can also equip the lower lobe cargo compartments to accommodate 3- or 9-G pallets. 

Lower lobe cargo handling systems. The lower lobe compartment's cargo handling systems are designed for fast loading and unloading by only one operator at each compartment. Cargo containers are loaded into the lower lobe sill area through doors on the right side of the airplane. From there, the operator uses power drive wheels to move the containers over a surface of ball transfer units and rollers to their stowed positions. Both lower lobe compartments can be loaded or unloaded manually when power is not available. 

Bulk cargo compartment. A bulk cargo compartment, with a volume of 800 cu. ft. and a weight carrying capacity of 14,880 lbs, is located behind the aft container compartment. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lower Lobe Container and Pallet 

Maximum gross weights (MGW) shown are based on running load capability of the lower lobe (116 lb/in), subject to structural limits of the airframe. 

NOTE: The special freighter conversion does not make any changes to the forward and aft lower lobe compartment cargo-carrying capabilities. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lower Lobe Pallet, container, and Bulk Cargo Capability

  Compartment Volume 

cu.ft. Volume 

cu.m. Design Payload 

lb Design Payload 

kg

30 LD-1 containers Fwd & aft 

Bulk 

Total 5,250 

800 

6,050 148.7 

22.6 

171.3 105,000 

14,880 

119,880 47,630 

6,750 

54,380

9 pallets 

96 by 125 by 64 in. 

(244 by 318 by 163 cm.) Fwd & aft 

Bulk 

Total

3,735 

800 

4,535

105.8 

22.6 

128.4

99,900 

14,880 

114,780

45,310 

6,750 

52,060

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The World Cargo Market | The 747 Airplane | The 747 Special Freighter | The 747 Conversion Process | Boeing Customer Support | Summary | Modification Responsibility Center 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conversion Overview | Weight Modifications | Extra Seating | Economics | Cargo - Side Door | Cargo - Loading | Airplane Performance  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                   

Comparisons between TWA Flight 800, UAL Flight 811, Pan Am Flight 103, and Air India Flight 182.
103 to 811 were both
aged
high flight time
poly x wired
early model Boeing 747 
which took off in no sun 
running late 
and after takeoff
experienced a sudden initial event in the forward cargo hold which left a 
short 
sudden 
loud 
sound on the cockpit voice recorder, an 
abrupt data loss to the flight data recorder, 
foreign object damage to starboard engines number 3 
fire on engine number 3
enginge three fodded number four
more severe inflight damage on starboard side, 
at least nine never recovered bodies, 
torn off skin in forward cargo door area on starboard side, 
fracture at forward cargo door at aft midspan latch,
outward peeled skin on upper forward fuselage, 
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area,
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of forward cargo door,
shattered fuselage shape on right side forward of the wing is vertical large rectangle around forward cargo door.
door in two big halves split at longitudinal midline.
radar reflection from aircraft at event time

103 and 182 were both:
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
suffers hull rupture in forward cargo hold
engine three falls apart from other engines
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
sound does not match bomb sound
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
midspan latch status not determined
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
inadvertent opening of the forward cargo door in flight offered as explanation during official inquiry
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected

Pan Am 103 and TWA 800 were both:
aged
high time
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
shortly after take off
suffers hull rupture forward of the wing
fodded number three engine
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
midspan latch status not determined
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed two flights previous to final fatal flight exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation is still believed to be the correct probable cause at least for the last nine years.
Non bomb structural failure offered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Non bomb structural failure rejected.
Bomb planters are terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters not tried in court.
Bomb planters deny they planted bomb.

800 to 182
Forward Cargo door frayed 
Door Skin shattered outward.
Bottom eight latches latched.
Midspan latch status undetermined.
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
suffers hull rupture forward of the wing on the right side in cargo door area
damaged number three engine
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed at least one flight previous to final fatal flight exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation was thought to be explantion for at least seventeen months.
Forward cargo door opening in flight considered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Forward cargo door opening in flight rejected.
Bomb planters would have been terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters not charged.
Bomb planters deny they planted bomb.
Conspiracy explanations considered seriously.

TWA 800 leads to UAL 811 which were both:
aged
high flight time
poly x wired
early model Boeing 747 
which took off in no sun 
running late 
and shortly after takeoff
while climbing
experienced a sudden initial event in the forward cargo hold which left a 
short 
sudden 
loud 
sound on the cockpit voice recorder, an 
abrupt data loss to the flight data recorder, 
foreign object damage to starboard engine #3 
more severe inflight damage on starboard side, 
smooth port side forward of the wing
at least nine never recovered bodies, 
torn off skin in forward cargo door area on starboard side, 
rupture at forward cargo door at aft midspan latch,
outward peeled skin on upper forward fuselage, 
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area,
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of forward cargo door,
inadvertent opening of forward cargo door considered as probable cause.
bare wires found in cargo door area.
destruction initially thought to be have been caused by a bomb.

And UAL 811 leads to Air India 182.

UAL 811 and AI 182 were both:
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
had previous problems with cargo doors.
experienced hull rupture forward of the wing on right side in cargo door area
fodded number three engine
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt data loss to FDR
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
inadvertent opening of the forward cargo door in flight offered as explanation during official inquiry
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected

UAL 811
aged
non Section 41 retrofit
high flight time
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
had previous problems with forward cargo door.
experienced hull rupture forward of the wing on right side in cargo door area
fodded number three engine
on fire number three engine.
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
hoop stress found in cargo door area
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
longitudinal break at midline of the forward cargo door at midspan latch,
midspan latch status not determined
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
inadvertent opening of the forward cargo door in flight offered as explanation during official inquiry
more severe inflight damage on starboard side,
port side smooth forward of the wing 
torn off skin in forward cargo door area on starboard side, 
rupture of forward cargo door at aft midspan latch,
outward peeled skin on upper forward fuselage, 
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area,
destruction initially thought to be have been caused by a bomb.

PA 103
aged
non Section 41 retrofit
high time
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
experienced hull rupture forward of the wing in forward cargo hold
nose came off
fodded number three engine
engine 3 falls apart from other three engines
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
sound does not match bomb sounds
abrupt power cut to FDR
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
longitudinal break at midline of the forward cargo door at midspan latch,
midspan latch status not determined
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area 
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed two flights previous to final fatal flight exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation is still believed to be the correct probable cause for at least for the last nine years.
Non bomb structural failure offered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Non bomb structural failure rejected.
Bomb planters are terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters not tried in court.
Bomb planters deny they planted bomb.

TWA  800
aged
high flight time
non Section 41 retrofit
poly x wired
early model Boeing 747 
which took off in no sun 
running late 
and shortly after takeoff
experienced hull rupture forward of the wing
nose came off
foreign object damage to starboard engines #3 
more severe inflight damage on starboard side, 
at least nine never recovered bodies, 
torn off skin in forward cargo door area on starboard side, 
post side smooth forward of the wing.
rupture at forward cargo door at aft midspan latch,
outward peeled skin on upper forward fuselage, 
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area,
bare wire found in cargo door area.
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of forward cargo door, and 
destruction initially thought to be have been caused by a bomb.
parts initially shed from just forward of the wing.
first pieces of structure to leave aircraft in flight from forward cargo bay.
Forward Cargo door frayed 
hoop stress found in cargo door area
Door Skin shattered outward.
Bottom eight latches latched.
Midspan latch status undetermined.
fodded number three engine
fire in number three engine
missing blades from number three engine.
stator blade in right horizontal stabilizer
red paint mark in right horizontal stabilizer
glitter in right horizontal stabilizer.
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed at least one flight previous to final fatal flight exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation was thought to be explantion for at least seventeen months.
Forward cargo door opening in flight considered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Forward cargo door opening in flight rejected.
Bomb planters would have been terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters not charged.
Bomb planters deny they planted bomb.
Conspiracy explanations considered seriously.
downward bent floor beams in cargo door area
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed one flight previous to final fatal flight exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation considered probable cause for seventeen months
Cargo door failure offered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Cargo door failure explanation rejected.
Bomb planters are terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters are not identified

AI 182
non Section 41 retrofit
early model
poly x wired
Boeing 747
had previous problems with cargo door.
experienced hull rupture forward of the wing
damaged number three engine
sudden sound on CVR
loud sound on the CVR
short duration sound on the CVR
abrupt power cut to FDR
nose came off
outward peeled skin in cargo door area
took off in no sun
running late
more severe inflight damage on starboard side
at least nine never recovered bodies
vertical fuselage tear lines forward of the wing and aft of cargo door
inadvertent opening of the forward cargo door in flight offered as explanation during official inquiry
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
Forward Cargo door frayed 
Door Skin shattered outward.
Bottom eight latches latched.
Midspan latch status undetermined.
bomb in forward cargo hold initially suspected
bomb in forward cargo hold placed at least two flights previous to final fatal flight; exploding in flight and nose coming off explanation was thought to be explantion for at least thirteen years.
Forward cargo door opening in flight considered as explanation for sudden loud short sound on the CVR.
Forward cargo door opening in flight rejected.
Bomb planters are terrorists of foreign countries.
Bomb planters not charged.
Bomb planters deny they planted bomb.
Conspiracy explanations considered seriously.
sound does not match bomb
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special Report: Air India Flight 182 
Air India's  Boeing 747 , Kanishka, named after Emperor Kanishka who ruled an Indian state in the second century, cruised over the Atlantic at 31,000ft as it flew towards London, Heathrow. The aircraft, registration VT-EFO, was operating Flight 182 on the east bound journey on a trip between India and Canada. Flight 181 from India had transitted Frankfurt when travelling westbound to Toronto, then had doubled back to Montreal. There the flight number had changed to Flight AI182 for the return trip to London, New Delhi and Bombay. On Flight 181`s Toronto to Montreal sector, therefore, some passengers were inbound to Montreal from India while others were outbound from Toronto on the way to India. 

Air-India`s Canadian flight was a weekly service, and the present crew of 22, under the command of Captain Hanse Singh Narenda, had spent a pleasant six day stop-over in Toronto before boarding the aircraft. The co-pilot was Satninder Singh Bhinder, also a Captain but on this flight sitting in the right hand seat, and the flight engineer was Dara Dumasia, about to retire and completing his last trip. The 19 flight attendants of Captain Narendra`s crew were under the charge of Sampath Lazer. A large expadriate Indian community had settled in Canada and Flight 182 was over three quarters full with 307 passengers who were mostly returning on a visit to India to their adopted country. The large crew onboard the aircraft brought the total onboard to 329 people.. The time was now 0.600hrs GMT on Sunday 23rd June, 1985, about 2½ hours from landing, and the aircraft was estimated to land at Heathrow at 08.33 hrs. The Air India flight was running about 1¾ hours late because of the time taken in Toronto to fit "fifth pod", or spare engine. On 8th June an Air India aircraft had suffered an engine failure on take-off and had landed back at Toronto where an Air Canada engine was borrowed for the homeward journey. The engine had been returned one week later and Kanishka now flew back with the broken engine for repair in India. The carriage of a spare engine, which is fitted below the left wing between the inboard engine and the fuselage, is more commonplace than most passengers realise, and is a convenient way of transporting such a bulky item. The engine is shrouded with fairings to reduce drag and slight trim adjustments are made to maintain balanced flight.. A maximum indicated airspeed is imposed with the carriage of a fifth engine, but otherwise flying characteristics are normal. Captain Narendra had requested a reduced cruising Mach number of 0.81 on the North Atlantic track for the purposes of Flight 182, instead of the normal 0.84 Mach cruise, to comply with the restricted speed. 

The flight from Montreal to London was just over 6 hours, and at the beginning of the journey the passengers were served with a hot meal and drinks. For those who could remain awake a Hindi movie was showing, but most dozed quietly in the smooth flying condtions. Outside the air temperature was 47 below zero. In the cockpit, the flight crew looked out over a clear sky, and as the sun peeked it`s head above the eastern horizon, some low lying cloud could be seen far below. Apart from the delay over fitting the broken engine, all was normal and routine. 

Six thousand miles away on the other side of the world, and in another time zone, ground staff at Tokyo`s Narita Airport unloaded baggage containers from Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 003which had recently arrived from Vancouver. With good winds on the trip the 747 made up some time and had landed 10mins ahead of schedule at 14.15 hrs local Japanese time. Trucks ferried containers to the ground floor of the terminal and luggage handlers removed the bags for passenger collection. The scene was typical of a busy international airport, but it was not to remain so for long. As bags were being unloaded from a container, one piece of luggage exploded causing a blast which shook the whole airport. a hole was blown in the concrete floor, and the unloading area was extensively damaged. Two Japanese airport staff were killed and another four seriously injured. CP Air`s 747, Flight 003 from Vancouver, had arrived with a total of 390 people onboard, and had the aircraft been just half an hour late, there would have been a terrible disaster. There was no doubt that the force of the blast was sufficient to cause the destruction to something even as large as a 747. 

Over the Atlantic, Air-India Flight 182 continued on its way to London, blissfully unaware of the events unfolding. All airlines, of course, are subject to the threat of sabotage, although some more than others, but most have implemented careful checks to safeguard against such a happening. Air-India was no exception. Internal strife in the northern State of Punjab, brought about by extremist demands for a separate nation of Khalistan, had created civil unrest in India. The trouble came to a head in June 1984 in Arnritsar with the Indian Army's storming of the Golden Temple, the Sikhs' holiest of shrines. The result was a bloodbath. Sikhs throughout the world were horrified by such an act. In retaliation, the Indian prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards. Her death stunned the world and created a Hindu backlash, which resulted in Sikhs being massacred in the streets of New Delhi. Mrs Gandhi's successor as prime minister, her son Rajiv Gandhi, was no less at risk. Ona planned visit to Washington earlier in the summer of 1985 the FBI had foiled  an  assassination  plot  by Sikh  terrorists.  Two suspects wanted for questioning, Lal Singh and Ammand Singh, escaped capture. The proliferation of the name Singh, meaning 'the Lion', may have compounded the problems of detection, for all male Sikhs carry the name. As a result of the struggle in India, the Indian Government was not short of enemies and Sikh extremists posed a specific threat. Air-India, as a long arm of the nation, was particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks and was fully aware of the risks. Canada and the UK both contained the largest concentration of Sikhs outside  India,  and  were  subject  to  special  precautions.  Air-India  had implemented a security system which appeared effective, and passengers boarding Flights 181/2 in both Toronto and Montreal underwent strict security measures. Air-India employed the services of local security companies who, together with the airline's own agents and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), subjected the passengers to a double security check. Metal detectors were used to screen for weapons and all hand baggage was searched. Suitcases were individually X-rayed and where suspicious items were uncovered a portable bomb 'sniffer' could be used to detect explosives. Three bags containing doubtful packages had been left behind in Montreal: later inspection revealed them to be safe. Only an iron, a radio and a hair dryer were found. Air Canada, as Air-India's handling agent, used a recommended passenger numbering system which ensured that all who had checked in boarded the aircraft. The security system implemented by the Indian airline seemed a reasonable and adequate response to the risks.  

At 07.05hrs GMT, Air-India Flight 182 passed track position 50°N 15°W, and relayed the information to Shannon. The aircraft was just within VHP radio range and the position report was transmitted to control on 13;5.6 MHz, a frequency which had been previously assigned on HF radio. The frequency, in fact, had been incorrectly allocated and AI182 was now instructed to call Shannon on 131.15MHz. On frequency diangeover a stream of calls could be heard but eventually at 07.08:28hrs, Captain Bhinder, acting as co-pilot, established contact.  

Capt Bhinder R/T: 'Air-India 182, good morning.' 

Shannon Control R/T: 'Air-India 182, good morning. Squawk two zero zero five, and go ahead please.'   

Capt Bhinder R/T; 'Three zero zero five squawking, and Air-India is five one north one five west at zero seven zero five, level three one zero, estimate FIR (Flight Information Region) five one north zero eight west at zero seven three five, and Bunty next.' 

Shannon Control R/T: 'Air-India, Shannon, Roger. Cleared London via five one north zero eight west, Bunty, upper blue 40 to Merley, upper red 37 to Ibsley, flight level three one zero.' 

Captain Bhinder repeated the instruction then Shannon replied correcting the earlier mistake and confirming the squawk of 2005. 

Capt Bhinder R/T: 'Right, Sir" Squawking two zero zero five, 182.' 

The time was now 07.10hrs and, with fair westerly winds, Kanishka flew on at a ground speed of 519kt, heading (198° magnetic towards the next position of 51°N 08°W, which lay about 50 miles south of Cork in the Irish Republic. Flight 182's routeing then proceeded up the mouth of the Bristol Channel, on across the West Country to the VOR radio beacon at Ibsley, and from there it would continue on to London. 

On the flight deck the discussion centred around the flight purser's requirement for bar seals to lock bars in keeping with customs regulations. F/E Dumasia asked Captain Bhinder to radio ahead to London operations with the request. Meanwhile, in the Shannon Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC), controllers M. Quinn and T. Lane monitored Air-India's progress, together with other aircraft in the vicinity.  

Momentarily a clicking sound of a transit button came over their headsets and, as they watched the screen, the Air-India radar return suddenly vanished. The time was 07.14;01hrs GMT. Unknown to the controllers, Flight 182 had disintegrated in mid-air. The tail section aft of the wings broke off, and as the aircraft plummeted towards the ocean the wings and engines detached and fell in a shower of twisted metal into the sea. In a moment Kanishka was gone. There was no warning and no `May day' call: Flight 182 simply disappeared. With contact lost the controllers, alarmed by the circumstances, requested other flights to call Air-India, but to no avail. By 07.30hrs it became obvious that the problem was serious and an emergency was declared. The emergency services were mobilised and shipping in the "area of 51°N 15°W was alerted. The Irish Navy vessel, Le Aisling, with cargo ships in the region, among them the Laurentian Forest, Ali Baba, Kongsteift and West Atlantic, converged on the location of the crash. By 09.13hrs a radio report from the Laurentian Forest confirmed the worst fears as wreckage and bodies were found floating on the surface. There were no survivors; all 329 people aboard had perished. The accident proved to be the worst aviation disaster over sea, and at the time the third worst disaster in aviation history.  

An accident co-ordination centre was set up in Cork and floating wreckage and bodies recovered from the sea were taken to the Irish port. In the days that followed the accident, about 50% of the aircraft's total structure was retrieved from the sea's surface and 131 victims of the crash were brought ashore. A team of pathologists was organised to perform autopsies and arrangements were made to fly in relatives to identify the next of kin. The vessel Guardline Locator from the UK, with sophisticated sonar equipment aboard, and the French cable laying vessel the Leon Thevenin, with its robot mini-sub Scarab, were dispatched to locate the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) boxes. The batteries of the acoustic beacons attached to the recorders would survive for a maximum of only 30 days. The boxes would he difficult to find and it was imperative the search was commenced quickly. By 4 July, the Gardline Locator, equipment had detected signals on the sea bed and on 9 July the CVR was pin-pointed and raised to the surface by the Scarab. The next day the FDR was located and recovered. It was a remarkable achievement. The two boxes were brought ashore and dispatched to India for analysis. 

The remaining wreckage of Flight 182 lay on the sea bed at a depth of 6,700ft and its retrieval would be difficult if not impossible. In preparation for a recovery attempt the Canadian Coast Guard vessel John Cabot began combing the area, taking video film of the debris on the bottom and shooting thousands of still photographs. Over the month of July, fortunately in unusually calm weather, the painstaking process of mapping the wreckage distribution was begun. It would be many weeks before it was completed. On 16 July. the CVR andthe FDR boxes were opened in Bombay and their contents analysed in the presence of international safety experts. The results were startling.  At precisely 07.13:01 hrs, the exact moment of the break-up, both recordings had stopped abruptly. Flight 182's electrical power supplying vital components had been completely and instantly severed. The electrics bay must have been totally destroyed. This sudden loss of electrical power was in keeping with analysis of the Shannon ATCC tape and with the abrupt disappearance of the radar 'target. Whatever had happened at 31,000ft out over the Atlantic was sudden and catastrophic indeed. Meanwhile, in Canada and Japan, a full-scale investigation of the Air-India crash and the blast at Narita was being instigated by RCMP and Japanese police. At first glance there appeared little to connect the two incidents, although Canada obviously seemed to be the linking factor. If Kanishka had been destroyed by a bomb, the answer could lie in Toronto or Montreal, the departure points of Air India's I8I/2, or in Vancouver, the departure city of CP Air's 003. 

As the weeks of July passed the police evidence began to mount. An examination of passenger lists and computer records indicated that a traveller by the name of L. Singh had checked in at Vancouver but had failed to board CP Air's Flight 003 to Tokyo's Narita Airport. L. Singh was also booked on Air-India Flight 301 from Narita to Bangkok. Another passenger, M. Singh, had also checked in at Vancouver for CP Air's Flight 060 to Toronto, and he had failed to turn up as well. In both instances their bags had been loaded. M. Singh had not been confirmed on Flight 182 because of overbooking at the time of reserving his seat, but he was wait-listed for the trip. It was not permitted to check straight through, or interline piece of luggage onto a flight for which a passenger was (only wait-listed, so what had become of M. Singh and his bag? And where had L. Singh gone? The Canadian investigation also began to unravel a confusing sequence of bookings which had been made in the name of various Singhs, including one A. Singh, in the days leading up to the tragedy. The situation was proving to he suspicious, to say the least. The vast majority of the Sikhs in Vancouver were hard working, law abiding citizens, but the plot to assassinate Rajiv Ghandi in the US indicated that extremist elements did exist in such communities. In fact, two of the names used in booking flights matched the names of the two Sikhs wanted by the FBI. It was doubtful if those implicated in the scheme to kill Gandhi were connected with events in Vancouver, but the names in which flights were booked seemed to have been deliberately chosen to advertise the fact that a Sikh terrorist group was involved. If Flight 182 had been downed by a bomb, the motives for sabotage were becoming clear. Yet one strange fact confused the inquiry: no Sikh extremist organisation claimed responsibility. On that front there was total silence. 

Other causes of the demise of Flight 182 had also to be considered and examined. If results were not forthcoming from the various investigations the answer could still lie at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Problems with the 'fifth pod' were dismissed with the preliminary inquiry, but one other obvious source of the tragedy, almost too shocking to contemplate with over 600+  747s flying the skies of the globe daily, could be some kind of catastrophic structural failure. If such an event had occurred, other 747s throughout the world could be at serious risk.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


barry@johnbarrysmith.com Copyright 2009, 2010