Event Details

Title:Controlled Flight Into Terrain, Korean Air Flight 801, Boeing 747-300, HL7468, Nimitz Hill, Guam, August 6, 1997
Micro summary:This Boeing 747-300 flew under the glide slope and collided with terrain while approaching the airport.
Event Time:1997-08-06 at 0142:26 Guam local time
File Name:1997-08-06-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB/AAR-00/01
Site of event:3 miles SW of airport
Latitude/Longitude:N13į27.35 E144į43.92
Departure:Kimbo International Airport, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Destination:A. B. Won Guam International Airport, Agana, Guam
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 747-3B5B (747-300)
Flight Phase:Approach
Operator(s):Korean Air
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:26
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Executive Summary On August 6, 1997, about 0142:26 Guam local time, Korean Air flight 801, a Boeing 747-3B5B (747-300), Korean registration HL7468, operated by Korean Air Company, Ltd., crashed at Nimitz Hill, Guam. Flight 801 departed from Kimpo International Airport, Seoul, Korea, with 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer, 14 flight attendants, and 237 passengers on board. The airplane had been cleared to land on runway 6 Left at A.B. Won Guam International Airport, Agana, Guam, and crashed into high terrain about 3 miles southwest of the airport. Of the 254 persons on board, 228 were killed, and 23 passengers and 3 flight attendants survived the accident with serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Flight 801 was operating in U.S. airspace as a regularly scheduled international passenger service flight under the Convention on International Civil Aviation and the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129 and was on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Korean Air flight 801 accident was the captainís failure to adequately brief and execute the nonprecision approach and the first officerís and flight engineerís failure to effectively monitor and cross-check the captainís execution of the approach. Contributing to these failures were the captainís fatigue and Korean Airís inadequate flight crew training. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administrationís (FAA) intentional inhibition of the minimum safe altitude warning system (MSAW) at Guam and the agencyís failure to adequately manage the system.

The safety issues in this report focus on flight crew performance, approach procedures, and pilot training; air traffic control, including controller performance and the intentional inhibition of the MSAW system at Guam; emergency response; the adequacy of Korean Civil Aviation Bureau (KCAB) and FAA oversight; and flight data recorder documentation. Safety recommendations concerning these issues are addressed to the FAA, the Governor of the Territory of Guam, and the KCAB.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Training Deficiency
Other - Crew Fatigue
Other - Regulatory Oversight
Other - Workplace Culture or Management
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Reduced Power at take-off and collision with terrain, MK Airlines Limited, Boeing 747-244SF, 9G-MKJ, Halifax International Airport, Nova Scotia, 14 October 2004


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