Korean Air Flight 801 crash

Article

August 20, 2022

The crash of Korean Air Flight 801 (English: Korean Air Lines Flight 801) occurred on August 6, 1997, when Flight 801, departing from Gimpo International Airport, South Korea, crashed during landing at Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam, US, killing 237 passengers and Including 17 crew members, 228 of 254 people died in the accident.

Accident Content

This aircraft was manufactured on December 3, 1984 and delivered for the first time on December 12, 1984. It is a Boeing 747-3B5 that not only belongs to Korean Air, but also won the title of the first SUD aircraft as a Korean national aircraft. At that time, Korean Air originally used Airbus A300-600R (currently Airbus A330-300) for the Gimpo-Guam route, but it was temporarily operated with a Boeing 747-3B5 to meet the increase in demand on the Gimpo-Guam route due to the peak season. was changed and inputted. Regarding this, there is an opinion that it was changed to a Boeing 747 due to an increase in air passenger demand for Gimpo at Guam Airport at the time. Flight KE 801 of B747-3B5 departed from Gimpo International Airport to its destination at 8:22 (9:22 Guam time). About 30 minutes before landing, Flight 801 entered Guam, and it was raining heavily at Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam. will receive Flight 801's landing preparation procedure seemed to go smoothly in bad weather, but 6 minutes and 57 seconds before the crash, the plane suddenly received a signal from the glide-angle indicator, and Captain Park Yong-cheol and Co-pilot Song Gyeong-ho fell into confusion. Perhaps for this reason, the altitude verification procedure was omitted and the prescribed altitude was ignored. After the accident, the signal turned out to be from other equipment on the ground. Flight 801 judged that the runway would be visible if it kept going down. I descended in an instant, and I thought that the runway was not visible even when I went down due to bad weather. Flight 801, after descending from 1,440 ft, did not appear in a step shape and descended in a straight line. 12 seconds before the collision, the GPWS sounded multiple warnings and the first officer shouted "missed approach", but the captain ignored it. It was only 2.3 seconds before the collision that the captain declared "go around" and declared a return. However, due to the law of inertia, a Boeing 747 weighing several hundred tons cannot soar at once, so Flight 801 crashed into Nimitz Hill from the rear wheels after the main landing gear hit the oil pipe with the nose lifted about 8 degrees. The tank and 462L duty-free liquor caught fire and burned for eight hours, taking the lives of many passengers after the crash.

Accident Interpretation

The overall cause can be seen to be a combination of pilot fatigue due to jet lag, malfunction of the glide angle indicator and confusion of pilots due to incorrect signals. The glide angle indicator is one of the devices that guide the landing of an airplane. Airplanes receiving this signal's frequency can respond to interference from radios and electronics. This made it clear that a false signal appeared on Flight 801's receiver and that it was malfunctioning. Also, during the accident investigation, it was found that the middle marker (radio transmitter installed at a certain distance from the runway) did not work. When the pilots were sidestepping, they descended based on three markers, but the middle marker in the middle did not work. For this reason, flight 801 can be considered to have descended continuously without descending in a cascade, but the descending time can be determined not only with markers but also with VOR/DME, so it is the cause of the accident.