KAL 007

Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL007 and KE007[note 2]) was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage. On September 1, 1983, the airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor near Moneron Island, west of Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan.

All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Lawrence McDonald, representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives.

The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a U.S. reconnaissance mission.

Aspects of the incident are still mysterious, but this much is clear. The flight took off from New York City on August 30, then made a stop to refuel in Alaska. Its final destination was Seoul. But after leaving Anchorage, likely because of an incorrect setting on the plane’s autopilot, it crossed into Soviet airspace by over 200 miles.  The passenger plane had flown on a magnetic heading of 246 degrees soon after leaving Anchorage, Alaska, and its pilots assumed that another navigation system was in control, having failed to link the plane’s compass heading to its instrument navigation system (INS).

kal 007

Commanders at Dolinsk-Sokol airbase scrambled two Sukhoi Su-15 fighter jets and ordered them to intercept the airliner.

According to tapes of the conversations between the fighter pilots and Soviet ground control, the fighters quickly located the KAL flight and tried to make contact with the passenger jet. Failing to receive a response, one of the fighters fired a heat-seeking missile.

The interceptor’s pilot was Major Gennadi Osipovich. Years after the incident, he said he noticed the double-decker configuration of the plane, and told CNN he had “wondered if it was a civilian aircraft.” But regardless, he “fulfilled his mission” to “destroy the intruder.”

The U.S.S.R. is not alone in having used its military might to kill commercial air passengers. Five years later, during a tense standoff over control of oil-tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf, an American guided missile cruiser, the USS Vincennes, mistook Iran Air Flight 655 for an inbound Iranian attack aircraft. The cruiser fired two Standard Missiles into the Airbus A-300, sending it in a wreck to the sea and killing all 290 of its passengers. The evening news showed dozens of bodies floating in the blue-green Gulf waters.

Reagan’ss nationally televised address on Sept. 5 was full of strong rhetorical condemnation: Reagan called the Soviet action “monstrous,” “murderous,” and “born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life.”

We pick up the transcript seconds before the missile struck the airplane and follow the transcript for roughly seven minutes as the Boeing 747 plunged 35,000 feet into the sea.

Tokyo Air Traffic Control: Korean Air zero zero seven clearance, Tokyo ATC clears Korean Air zero zero seven [to] climb and maintain flight level three five zero [35,000 feet].

Captain: Ah, roger Korean Air zero zero seven, climb and maintain at three five zero, leaving three three zero at this time [33,000 feet].

Tokyo ATC: Tokyo roger.

Cockpit: [Sound of altitude alert].

Captain: Tokyo radio, Korean Air zero zero seven reaching level three five zero [35,000 feet].

Tokyo ATC: Korean Air zero zero Seven, Tokyo roger.

Cockpit: [Sound of explosion]

Captain: What’s happened?

Co- pilot: What?

Captain: Retard throttles.

Co- Pilot: Engines normal.

Captain: Landing gear.

Cockpit: [Sound of cabin altitude warning]

Captain: Landing gear.

Cockpit: [Sound of altitude deviation warning, sound of autopilot disconnect warning]

Captain: Altitude is going up. Altitude is going up. Speed brake is coming out.

Co- Pilot: What? What?

Captain: Check it Attention emergency descent [in Japanese]. [Sound of autopilot disconnect warning]

Co- pilot: Not working manually also. Engines are normal sir.

Public address Recording: Put out your cigarette. This is an emergency descent. Put out your cigarette. This is an emergency descent.

Captain: Is it power compression?

Flight Engineer: Is that right?

Public Address Recording: Put out your cigarette, this is an emergency descent.

Flight Engineer: All of both….

Captain: Is that right?

Public Address Recording: Put the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust the headband.

Co- pilot: Tokyo radio Korean Air zero zero seven.

Public Address Recording: Put the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust the headband.

Tokyo ATC: Korean Air zero zero seven, Tokyo.

Co-pilot: Roger, Korean Air zero zero seven…ah, we are experiencing…

Public Address Recording: Put the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust the headband.

Flight Engineer: All compression.

Captain: Rapid decompression. Descend to one zero thousand [10,000 feet]

Public Address recording: Attention emergency descent.

Flight engineer: Now…we have to set this.

Tokyo ATC: Korean Air zero zero seven, radio check on one zero zero four eight.

Public Address recording: Attention emergency descent.

Flight Engineer: Speed. Stand by. Stand by. Stand by. Stand by. Set.

Public address recording: Put out your cigarette. This is an emergency descent. Put out your cigarette. This is an emergency descent. Put out your cigarette this is an emergency descent. Put the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust the headband. Put the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust…….

END OF TAPE.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s