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Swissair - Boeing 747-357 Prior to 1999. And the 747's Safety Record.

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posted by alias pepandtim on Sunday 21st of April 2019 09:04:33 AM

The Postcard A postally unused postcard that was printed in Switzerland by Engadin Press on behalf of Swissair. On the divided back of the card is printed: 'Swissair Boeing 747-357. Wing Span 59.6 m Length 70.6 m Height 19.3 m Max. Cruising Speed 976 km/h Passenger Seats 375 (Passenger Version) 252 (Combi Version)'. The aircraft in the photograph (Registration Number HB-IGD) entered service with Swissair on the 19th. March 1983, and stopped being used by them on the 30th. June 1999. The aircraft was originally delivered to Swissair as a Combi Passenger/Freight Version. After Service with Swissair it went to Northwest Airlines. A conversion to full freighter is planned, although the aircraft is currently (2019) sitting in storage in the Mojave Desert. The Boeing 747 and its Safety Record As of 2020, the Boeing 747 was first flown commercially 50 years previously in 1970. As of January 2017, 61 Boeing 747 aircraft, or just under 4% of the total number of 747's ever built, have been involved in serious accidents and incidents resulting in a hull loss. Hull loss means that the aircraft has either been destroyed, or has been damaged beyond economical repair. Of the 61 Boeing 747 aircraft losses, 29 resulted in loss of life. In three separate hijackings, a total of 23 passengers were executed, and in a fourth hijacking, a terrorist was killed. Some of the aircraft that were declared damaged beyond economical repair were older 747's that had sustained relatively minor damage. Had these planes been newer, it might have been economically viable to repair them, although with the 747's increasing obsolescence, this is becoming less common. 747's have been involved in accidents resulting in: (a) The highest death toll of any aviation accident. (b) The highest death toll of any single aeroplane accident. (c) The highest death toll resulting from a mid-air collision. However, as with most aircraft accidents, the causes of these incidents involved multiple factors which rarely could be attributed to flaws in the 747's design, manufacture, or its flying characteristics. Specific 747 Incidents Specific 747 events are as follows: 1970's (1) On the 6th. September 1970, a new Pan American World Airways aircraft flying from Amsterdam to New York was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It was flown first to Beirut, then on to Cairo. Shortly after the occupants were evacuated from the aircraft after arriving at Cairo, it was blown up. Pan Am Flight 93 became the first hull loss of a Boeing 747, the result of terrorism. (2) Japan Airlines Flight 404, the second 747 hull loss, was very similar to the first. The aircraft was hijacked on a flight from Amsterdam to Anchorage, Alaska, on the 20th. July 1973, again by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine working together with the Japanese Red Army. The aircraft flew to Dubai, then Damascus, before ending its journey at Benghazi. The occupants were released and the aircraft was blown up. One of the hijackers died. (3) Lufthansa Flight 540 was the first fatal crash of a 747. On the 20th. November 1974, it stalled and crashed moments after taking off from Nairobi, with 59 deaths and 98 survivors. The cause was an error by the flight engineer, in combination with the lack of an adequate warning system. (4) Air France Flight 193, a Boeing 747 operating the sector between Mumbai and Tel Aviv to Paris CDG, was destroyed by fire on the 12th. June 1975 at Mumbai's Santa Cruz Airport, following an aborted take-off. (5) Imperial Iranian Air Force flight ULF48, a 747 freighter, crashed near Madrid on the 9th. May 1976, due to the structural failure of its left wing in flight, killing the 17 people on board. The accident investigation determined that a lightning strike caused an explosion in a fuel tank in the wing, leading to flutter and the separation of the wing. (6) This is The Big One. On the 27th. March 1977, the highest death toll of any aviation accident in history occurred when KLM Flight 4805 collided on the runway with Pan Am 1736 in heavy fog at Tenerife Airport, resulting in 583 fatalities. There were 61 survivors, all from the Pan Am 747. The Pan Am aircraft was coincidentally the first 747 to have entered commercial service. Joani Feathers was one of the 61 who survived. She recalled how she saw a fellow passenger sliced in half by her seatbelt, and another woman set alight. After the smash, her then-boyfriend Jack Ridout tried to help a stewardess trying to deploy an escape raft – only for an explosion to decapitate the Pan Am worker. Recalling the near-death experience to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Feathers told of how she was nervous about the presence of the KLM 747 that crashed into her plane moments before it happened. After voicing her fears to Ridout, he jokingly replied: "Don’t worry. If he hits us, you won’t feel a thing." She felt the plane she was on veer sharply to the left as it tried to avoid the other airliner, then looked up to see the roof of the 747 sliced open like a tin can. Feathers, who had been flying from Los Angeles to the Canaries to begin a Mediterranean cruise added: "All my rings had come off my fingers. My shoes came off. I just didn’t want to burn up.’ The ex-cop credits her law enforcement training for making her one of the few survivors, as she knew not to wait to help, and to keep a constant check on her surroundings. She and Ridout freed themselves from their seats, before jumping two storeys from a door of the wrecked jet. The couple then sprinted away from the plane, shortly before it exploded in a huge fireball. Feathers, who now lives in Dayton Beach, said she kept repeating "No. No. I can’t believe this is happening" as she ran from the plane. She added: "The plane went up like an atom bomb." Afterwards, Feathers and Ridout were flown back to California where they lived, but split up soon afterwards. (7) On the 3rd. November 1977, one passenger died after a decompression event on an El Al 747 over Belgrade, Yugoslavia. (8) Air India Flight 855 crashed into the sea off the coast of Mumbai on the 1st. January 1978. All 213 passengers and crew died. The cause was lack of situation awareness on the captain's part after executing a banked turn due to the failure of an attitude detector. The false reading led to pilot confusion and spatial disorientation. 1980's (9) Korean Air Lines 747-200 Flight 015, operating a flight from Los Angeles to Seoul was damaged beyond repair on the 19th. November 1980. The aircraft undershot its landing, and impacted just short of the runway. The landing gear collapsed, and the aircraft caught fire after it slid to a stop. Of the 226 occupants, 8 passengers and 6 crew members died, along with one person on the ground. (10) On the 11th. August 1982, Pan Am 747-100, Flight 830, was en route from Tokyo to Honolulu with 285 aboard when a bomb exploded under a seat, killing 16-year-old Toru Ozawa, and injuring 16 others. The damaged airliner was able to land safely in Honolulu. Mohammed Rashed, linked to the 15th. May Organisation, was convicted of murder in 1988. (11) On the 16th. August 1982, China Airlines 747 encountered severe turbulence near Hong Kong; two of the 292 passengers were killed. (12) On the 4th. August 1983, Pan Am Flight 73, a 747-100, struck a VASI light installation and its concrete base while taking off at Karachi International Airport, causing the nose gear to collapse backwards to the left. This resulted in the total destruction of the VASI light installation, and damage to the forward cargo hold, the floor of the first class section, and the stairway leading to the upper deck. (13) On the 1st. September 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a 747-200B from New York City to Seoul strayed into Soviet air space as a result of a navigation error. The aircraft was shot down just west of Sakhalin Island by the Soviet Air Force, killing all 269 passengers and crew on board. (14) On the 27th. November 1983, Avianca Flight 011, a 747-200 flying from Paris to Bogotá via Madrid, crashed into a mountainside due to a navigational error while manoeuvring to land at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 181 out of the 192 on board. (15) On the 19th. February 1985, China Airlines 747SP was flying from Taipei to LA. About 350 miles from San Francisco, incorrect crew responses to an engine failure led to an uncontrolled descent. The aircraft lost 30,000 feet, and high air speeds and g-forces led to damage to the horizontal stabilisers, wings and landing gear doors. The crew diverted to San Francisco, and all 22 crew members and 374 passengers survived. (16) On the 16th. March 1985, a UTA Boeing 747-300 was destroyed on the ground at Paris CDG when a fire was accidentally started while the aircraft's cabin was being cleaned. (.... How can you start a major fire when cleaning a plane???) (17) On the 23rd. June 1985, a bomb exploded on Air India Flight 182, a 747-200B en route from Montreal to New Delhi, causing the aircraft to explode and crash off the Southwest coast of Ireland, killing all 329 on board. Until the September 11 attacks of 2001, the Air India bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack involving aircraft. It remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history. (18) On the 12th. August 1985, Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed when the rear pressure bulkhead of a 747 flying from Tokyo to Osaka failed at cruising altitude, destroying most of the aircraft's vertical stabiliser. The pilots kept it in the air for 32 minutes - time for passengers to write notes to their loved ones - but the aircraft eventually struck Mount Takamagahara and crashed. Out of the 524 people on board, only four survived, making it the deadliest-ever single-aircraft accident. (19) On the 5th. December 1985, Air France Flight 91 overshot the runway during a landing at Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, Brazil. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. (20) On the 5th. September 1986, Pan Am Flight 747-100 Flight 73 was about to depart Karachi for a flight to Frankfurt when four hijackers boarded the aircraft and attempted to take control of it. However, the flight crew left the aircraft via the cockpit escape hatch (I'm all right, Jack). The hijackers killed 20 of the passengers before the hijacking ended. (21) On the 28th. November 1987, South African Airways Flight 295, a 747-200 Combi en route from Taipei to Johannesburg, crashed into the ocean off Mauritius. A fire had broken out in the rear cargo hold, leading to separation of the tail and damage to vital control systems. All 160 people on board died. (22) On the 5th. April 1988, Kuwait Airways 747-200 Combi Flight 422 was hijacked during a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait. The aircraft was first diverted to Iran and later to Cyprus. During the 16-day event, two hostages were killed in Cyprus before the hijackers surrendered at their final stop in Algeria. (23) On the 21st. December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, a 747-100, disintegrated in mid-air after a bomb in the luggage hold exploded; the wings, with their tanks full of fuel, landed on Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people on board and 11 people in Lockerbie died. A Libyan national was eventually convicted at a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands of murder in connection with the bombing. (24) On the 19th. February 1989, Flying Tiger Line Flight 66, a 747-100F, was flying using a non-directional beacon (NDB) approach to Runway 33 at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Kuala Lumpur, when the cargo aircraft hit a hillside 600 ft (180 m) above sea level. The crash resulted in the deaths of all four people on board. The crew had descended below the glide path after receiving ambiguous instructions from air traffic control. (25) On the 24th. February 1989, United Air Lines 747-100, Flight 811 was flying from Honolulu to Auckland when it experienced sudden decompression. The crew was able to return to Honolulu and land 14 minutes after the decompression. All 18 crew members survived, but 9 of the 337 passengers were killed. (...What did the 18 crew members do to ensure that they all survived???) 1990's (26) British Airways Flight 149 was a 747-100 flying from London Heathrow to Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Kuala Lumpur with stopovers in Kuwait International Airport and Madras International Airport (now Chennai). The aircraft landed in Kuwait City on the 1st. August 1990, four hours after the Gulf War had broken out. (Bad Move!!!) All 385 passengers and crew were taken hostage by Iraqi forces; one was executed but the others were released. The aircraft was subsequently blown up. (....Why didn't someone radio the captain during the initial four hours of the war and mention that they were about to land in a war zone???? Who knows ....) (27) On the 29th. December 1991, China Airlines Flight 358, a 747-200, crashed shortly after take-off from Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, killing all 5 crew members. The crash occurred when the number-three and number-four engines (both on the right wing) detached from the aircraft. (... One engine falling off could perhaps have a valid explanation, but both????) (28) On the 20th. February 1992, a passenger on Aerolineas Argentinas 747 en route to LA from Argentina died from food poisoning. (29) On the 4th. October 1992, an El Al 747-200 cargo flight crashed shortly after take-off from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport after the right-side engines both fell off due to metal fatigue and damaged the right wing. The aircraft crashed into an apartment building, killing all three crew members and the single passenger on board, as well as 43 people in the building and on the ground. (30) On the 4th. November 1993, China Airlines Flight 605, a brand-new 747-400 flying from Taipei to Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport, landed 2000 feet past the threshold of runway 13, with insufficient braking power. Unable to stop before the end of the runway, the captain steered the aircraft into Victoria Harbour. All passengers were evacuated via inflatable life rafts. The vertical fin was blown off with explosives, as it disrupted airport operations. The aircraft was recovered from the harbour days later, and was written off. (31) On the 11th. December 1994, a small liquid-explosive bomb detonated under a seat of a Philippine Airlines 747-200 flying from Cebu to Tokyo. The bomb, which exploded over the Pacific, killed one of the 287 passengers and injured 10 others. The aircraft itself was seriously damaged by the blast, and although vital control systems were damaged, pilots were able to safely land the airliner at Okinawa an hour later. The bomb was assembled and planted for al-Qaeda by Ramzi Yousef, as a test for the planned bombings of the Bojinka plot. This was a January 1995 al-Qaeda plot to destroy several airliners over the Pacific Ocean using liquid explosives. The conspirators were discovered before they could carry out the terrorist attacks. (32) On the 17th. July 1996, TWA Flight 800, a 747-100 bound for CDG Airport in Paris, exploded during its climb from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, killing all 230 people aboard. A spark from a wire in the centre fuel tank caused the explosion near Long Island. Changes in fuel tank management were adopted after the crash. For more information on the TWA 800 crash and the virtuoso guitarist who was one of the passengers, please search for the tag 74GND75 (33) On the 5th. September 1996, Air France 747-400 experienced severe turbulence near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The turbulence injured 3 of the 206 passengers. One of the 3 later died of injuries caused by an in-flight entertainment screen. (.... How can an in-flight entertainment system kill you??? Perhaps it was terminal boredom. Alternative explanations on a postcard please). (34) On the 12th. November 1996, Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763, a 747-100B, collided with Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907, an Ilyushin Il-76, in mid-air over Charkri Dadri in Haryana, India. The collision resulted in the deaths of all 349 occupants of both aircraft, more than any other mid-air collision in history. The Ilyushin had apparently descended below its assigned altitude. (35) On the 6th. August 1997, Korean Air Flight 801, a Boeing 747-300, crashed into a hillside while on a night-time approach in heavy rain to Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport on the island of Guam. The crash resulted from a controlled flight into terrain due to insufficient training and pilot fatigue. Out of the 254 people on board, only 26 survived. (36) On the 28th. December 1997, United Air Lines 747-100, Flight 826 encountered severe turbulence when flying from Tokyo to Honolulu. All 19 crew members survived, but one of the 374 passengers was killed. (37) On the 4th. January 1998, Olympic Airways 747 was scheduled to fly from Athens to New York. Prior to the flight, an asthmatic passenger with a history of sensitivity to second-hand smoke asked for a seat in the non-smoking area of the aircraft. However, once on board, it was clear that the assigned seat was only 3 rows ahead of the smoking section, with no partition. Three requests were made to the cabin crew to switch seats, but the cabin crew would not move the passenger to one of the eleven available unoccupied seats. Several hours into the flight, the passenger suffered a reaction to the ambient smoke and died. (.... Why didn't the flight crew just let the passenger move seats??? Who knows ...) (38) On the 5th. August 1998, Korean Air Flight 8702, a Boeing 747-400, overshot a runway at Incheon International Airport while landing. The fuselage split and 25 people were injured. (39) On the 5th. March 1999, Air France flight 6745, a 747-2B3F carrying 66 tons of cargo from Paris CDG to Madras International Airport via Karachi and Bangalore HAL Airport, was destroyed by fire after landing with gear up. There were no fatalities. (40) On the 23rd. September 1999 Qantas Flight 1, a passenger flight between Sydney and London was involved in a runway overrun at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok as it was landing for a stopover. Visibility was very poor due to heavy rain, and the previous aircraft had executed a go-round, although the Quantas crew were not made aware of this. Flight 1 landed over 3,000 feet beyond the runway threshold, and the undercarriage wheels aquaplaned on the wet ungrooved runway. The Pilot and First Officer took conflicting corrective action, leading to the aircraft running off the end of the runway over a long stretch of boggy grassland, colliding with a ground radio antenna as it did so, and coming to rest with its nose resting on the perimeter road. 38 passengers sustained minor injuries, but there were no fatalities. The extensive damage to the aircraft was such that it was initially declared a write-off, but to preserve the company's reputation, Qantas had it repaired at a cost of $100 million. By returning the aircraft to service, Qantas was able to retain its record of having had no hull-loss accidents since the advent of the Jet Age. (41) On the 22nd. December 1999, Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509, a 747-200F from London Stansted Airport, crashed shortly after take-off, killing all four crew. The captain of the aircraft had mishandled it due to erroneous indications on his attitude indicator. 2000's (42) On the 31st. October 2000, Singapore Airlines Flight 006, a 747-400 flying from Singapore to LA via Taipei, collided with construction equipment while attempting to take off in heavy rain from a closed runway at Taiwan's Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport. The aircraft caught fire, killing 79 passengers and four crew members on board. There were 96 survivors. (43) On the 31st. January 2001, Japan Airlines Flight 907, a Boeing 747-400 en route to Naha Airport, Okinawa, narrowly avoided a mid-air collision with Japan Airlines Flight 958, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The incident was attributed to errors made by air traffic controller trainee Hideki Hachitani and trainee supervisor Yasuko Momii. Had the collision occurred, given the combined total of 677 people on board both aircraft, this could have potentially been the deadliest aviation accident in the world, surpassing the 1977 Tenerife airport disaster. Once they had seen each other, the two aircraft avoided collision by using extreme evasive manoeuvres, and passed within about 135 metres (443 ft) of each other. Seven passengers and two crew members in the 747 sustained serious injuries; one 54-year old woman broke her leg. Additionally, 81 passengers and 10 crew members reported minor injuries. Some unbelted passengers, flight attendants, and drink carts hit the ceiling, dislodging ceiling tiles. The manoeuvre threw one boy across four rows of seats. In addition, a drink cart spilled, scalding some passengers. After a criminal investigation, on the 11th. April 2008, the two air traffic controllers were found guilty of giving incorrect instructions, and received suspended prison sentences. (44) On the 23rd. August 2001, Saudia Flight 3830, 747-368, rolled into a drainage ditch at Kuala Lumpur Airport and toppled forward, causing severe damage to the nose section. The aircraft was being taxied by a ground engineer on the no. 2 and 3 engines. When trying to make a turn the brakes and steering had no effect, and the aircraft continued into the ditch. It emerged that the auxiliary hydraulic pumps, which actuated brakes and steering, were switched off. (45) On the 21st. November 2001, MK Airlines 747-200F was on an international cargo flight from Luxembourg to Port Harcourt, Nigeria when it crashed about 700 metres short of the runway. Of the 13 on board, 1 died. (46) On the 25th. May 2002, China Airlines Flight 611, a 747-200B en route to Hong Kong International Airport from Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport, broke up in mid-air 20 minutes after take off, and crashed into the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people on board. Subsequent investigation determined the cause to be metal fatigue cracking due to an improperly-performed repair after a tail strike. The aircraft was about to be sold to another carrier the following month. According to Boeing, it had been delivered to China Airlines in July 1979, and had accumulated approximately 21,180 landings and 64,394 flight hours. (.... That's a total of over 7 years in the air!!!) This 22-year old aircraft was nevertheless younger than similar models in the fleets of US airlines. According to the FAA, the average age of Boeing 747-200 and 300 models in US fleets at the time of the event was 24 years. (47) On the 14th. October 2004, MK Airlines Flight 1602, a 747-200F, crashed while attempting to take off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport, killing all seven on board. The aircraft's take-off weight had been incorrectly calculated, and it was only airborne briefly before stalling at the end of the runway. (48) On the 8th. September 2005, while Saudi Arabian Airlines 747-300 was taxiing for takeoff on a flight from Colombo to Jeddah, air traffic controllers had an anonymous call concerning a possible bomb on the aircraft. The crew performed an emergency evacuation. This resulted in 62 injuries amongst the 430 passengers and crew members. One passenger died as a result of his injuries, and 19 were hospitalised. A subsequent search revealed that there was no bomb on board. (49) On the 7th. June 2006, Tradewinds International Airlines Flight 444, a 747-200F, aborted a take-off from Rionegro/Medellín-José María Córdova Airport and overran the runway. The aircraft was damaged beyond economic repair, and was withdrawn from service. (50) On the 25th. May 2008, a Kalitta Air 747-200F broke up when it overran Runway 20 at Brussels Airport, Belgium, while en route to Bahrain International Airport, with no injuries. (51) 44 days later, on the 7th. July 2008, another Kalitta Air 747-200F crashed into a farm field near the village of Madrid, Colombia shortly after take-off from El Dorado International Airport. This time, the crew had reported an engine fire, and were attempting to return to the airport. One of the aircraft's engines hit a farmhouse and killed three people inside it. 2010's (52) On the 3rd. September 2010, UPS Airlines Flight 6, a 747-400F, crashed near Dubai International Airport, killing two crew members. The crash was blamed on lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold that had caught fire. (53) On the 28th. July 2011, Asiana Airlines Flight 991, a 747-400F, caught fire and crashed in the sea near Jeju island, killing both crew members. (54) On the 29th. April 2013, National Airlines Flight 102, a 747-400BCF, stalled and crashed shortly after taking off from Bagram Airfield, killing all 7 crew members. At one point, the aircraft had rolled to the right past 45 degrees. Although the crew put the wings more or less level, the aircraft impacted the ground at high vertical speed, causing an explosion and fire. (55) On the 22nd. December 2013, the right wing on British Airways Flight 34, a Boeing 747–436, struck a building at O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg after missing a turning on a taxiway. The wing was severely damaged, but there were no injuries amongst the crew or 189 passengers, although four on the ground were injured. The aircraft was officially written off in February 2014. (56) On the 19th. March 2015, a 747-SP used by the president of Yemen was damaged by gunfire from troops loyal to deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Photos released a few months later showed the remains of the aircraft after it had been set on fire. (57) On the 16th. January 2017, Turkish Airlines Flight 6491, a 747-400F operated by ACT Airlines en route from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Bishkek, overshot the runway on landing in thick freezing fog at Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The aircraft caught fire, and 39 people died, including all four crew members, as well as 35 residents of a village at the crash site. (58) On the 7th. November 2018, SkyLease Cargo Flight 4854, a 747-400F, overran the runway while landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Although the aircraft sustained substantial damage, all four crew survived with minor injuries. Summary The 58 incidents listed above resulted in a total of 3,930 fatalities. 3,930 people standing in a line with one metre between each would form a queue over 3.93 km (2.44 miles) long.

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