Korean Air 801 crashed on approach to Guam

Date:         05 Aug 97 14:19:30 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.NOSPAM.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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Korean Air flight 801 from Seoul crashed early Wednesday morning in
rainy weather on approach to its destination, Guam's Agana
International Airport, according to the FAA.  Contact was lost with
the aircraft when it was about three miles out, and initial reports
indicated that it went into the water, but wreckage was subsequently
found in the Nimitz Hill area, a heavily wooded jungle in the southern
portion of the island.

CNN variously reported 231 and 331 people aboard the plane.  Reports
indicate there are at least 30 survivors.

KE801 is scheduled to depart SEL at 805p and arrive GUM at 115a the
next day, operating with AB3 (A300) equipment.  Reports from the FAA
and local authorities indicate that the plane which crashed was a
Boeing 747, though Korean Air said the flight was being operated by
"an Airbus" as advertised.  KAL operates A300B4-100, A300-600R, and
A330-300 passenger models (and also two A300F4-200 freighters).  If
the correct number of people aboard the flight is the higher number,
it must have been a 747 unless their A330s have an atypically dense
seating configuration.

Another report, apparently from CNN but filtered through several other
people, claimed the registration of the accident aircraft was HL7468.
That's a 747-3B5 (msn 22487 ln 605) with JT9D-7R4G2 engines, delivered
to KAL on December 12, 1984 after its first flight on December 3.

A representative of the Guam Airport Authority claimed the plane had
been experiencing engine trouble, and White House officials reported
a fire aboard the aircraft.  Neither offered any substantiation for
their claims, however.

See http://www.airnav.com/cgi-bin/airport-info?GUM for FAA information
about the airport itself.

Airbus Industrie's web site (http://www.airbus.com/), which usually is
kept quite current, has nothing about the crash.  Korean Air's site
(http://www.koreanair.com/) doesn't have anything either.

Boeing has a link to their press release about the crash on their home
page (http://www.boeing.com/) which is noteworthy in its inclusion of
the following disclaimer, which is especially apropos for Usenet:

   As more detailed information becomes available, we will make it
   available. You should be aware that once the accident investigation
   commences, the regulatory authorities will be the sole authorized
   source for information. Boeing will not circumvent that authority.
   We will not speculate about what may have been the cause of this
   incident, and we encourage others not to speculate.

Alas, CNN's page on the crash (http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9708/05/guam/)
includes an "Airline Crash Message Board" which poses the question
"What do you think caused the crash?  Was it political or mechanical?"
They ought to take a hint from Boeing's press release.

Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
		|Work	kls@netapp.com
		|WWW	http://www.chicago.com/~kls/
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills