Boeing 747 hull losses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Boeing 747
A British Airways 747-400 in white, blue and red livery during takeoff with its landing gear retracting.
British Airways Boeing 747-400 during takeoff
Role Wide-body, long-range jet airliner
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes
First flight February 9, 1969[1]
Introduction January 22, 1970 with Pan Am[2]
Status In service
Primary users British Airways
United Airlines
Produced 1968–present
Number built 1,505 as of March 2015[3]
Unit cost
747-100: US$24 million (1967)
747-200: US$39 million (1976)
747-300: US$83 million (1982)
747-400: US$228–260 million (2007)
747-8I: US$351.4 million[4]
747-8F: US$352 million
Variants Boeing 747SP
Boeing 747-400
Boeing 747-8
Boeing VC-25
Boeing E-4
Developed into Boeing YAL-1
Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter

A total of 52 Boeing 747 aircraft, or 3% of the total number of 747's built, first flown commercially in 1970, have been involved in accidents and incidents resulting in a hull loss, meaning that the aircraft has either been destroyed or has been damaged beyond economical repair.[5] Of the 52 Boeing 747 aircraft losses, 25 resulted in no loss of life; in one, a hostage was murdered; and in one, a terrorist died.[5] Some of the aircraft that were declared damaged beyond economical repair were older 747s that sustained relatively minor damage. Had these planes been newer it would have been economically viable to repair them, although with the 747's increasing obsolescence this is becoming less common.[6][7] 747s have been involved in accidents resulting in the highest death toll of any aviation accident, the highest death toll of any single airplane accident and the highest death toll of a mid-air collision, although, as with most airliner accidents, the roots of causation in these incidents involved a confluence of multiple factors which rarely could be ascribed to flaws with the 747's design or its flying characteristics.


  • Pan Am Flight 93, was the first hull loss of a Boeing 747, the result of terrorism. On September 6, 1970 a new Pan American World Airways aircraft flying from Amsterdam to New York was hijacked and flown first to Beirut, then to Cairo. Shortly after the occupants were evacuated from the aircraft after arriving at Cairo, it was blown up.[8]
  • Japan Air Lines Flight 404, the second 747 hull loss, was very similar to the first. Japan Airlines jet was hijacked on a flight from Amsterdam to Anchorage, Alaska on July 23, 1973. It 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.[9]
  • Lufthansa Flight 540 was the first fatal crash of a 747. On November 20, 1974, it crashed moments after taking off from Nairobi, killing 59 people - there were 98 survivors. The cause was pilot error leading to a stall.
  • Imperial Iranian Air Force, flight ULF48, a 747 freighter crashed near Madrid on May 9, 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.[10][11]
  • KLM and Pan American World Airways, both 747s, on March 27, 1977 the highest death toll in any aviation accident in history occurred when KLM 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 the first 747 that entered commercial service.[12]
  • Air India Flight 855 crashed into the sea off the coast of Mumbai (Bombay) on New Year's Day, 1978. All 213 passengers and crew died. The cause was lack of situation awareness on the captain's part after executing a banked turn.


  • Korean Air Flight 015, operating a flight from Los Angeles to Seoul, with a refueling stop at Anchorage, Alaska, was damaged beyond repair at landing on November 19, 1980. Of the 226 occupants, 15 passengers and crew died.
  • Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a 747-200B from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage, Alaska and Tokyo, was shot down just west of Sakhalin Island by the Soviet Air Force on September 1, 1983. All 269 passengers and crew aboard died.
  • Avianca Flight 011, a 747-200 flying from Paris to Bogotá via Madrid, crashed into a mountainside on 27 November 1983 due to a navigational error while maneuvering to land at Madrid Barajas International Airport. 181 people died; there were 11 survivors.
  • Air India Flight 182, a 747-200B, en route from Montreal to New Delhi, was blown up in midair off the Southwest coast of Ireland by a bomb on June 23, 1985. All 329 on board died. Until the September 11 attacks of 2001 the Air India bombing was the single deadliest terrorist attack involving aircraft. It remains "worst mass murder in Canadian history."
  • Japan Airlines Flight 123, an inadequate repair resulted in the loss of the 747SR (SR for Short Range) flying from Tokyo to Osaka on August 12, 1985. Most of the aircraft's vertical stabilizer was blown apart while the aircraft was at cruising altitude, after the rear pressure bulkhead failed. The pilots kept it in the air for 32 minutes but it eventually crashed, causing 520 fatalities - there were 4 survivors. It is the worst single-aircraft accident in aviation history.[13]
  • South African Airways Flight 295, a 747-200BSCD "Combi" en route from Taipei to Johannesburg on November 28, 1987, crashed into the ocean off Mauritius after a fire in the rear cargo hold during the flight resulted in loss of control. All 159 people on board died.
  • Pan Am Flight 103, a 747-100, disintegrated in mid-air on December 21, 1988 due to a terrorist bomb in the luggage hold; 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 of destroying the aircraft.
  • Flying Tiger Flight 66, on February 19, 1989, a 747-100F was flying a Non-directional beacon (NDB) approach to Runway 33 at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Kuala Lumpur, when the aircraft hit a hillside 600 ft (180 m) above sea level, resulting in the deaths of all four people on board.[14]



  • Singapore Airlines Flight 006, a 747-400 flying from Singapore to Los Angeles via Taipei, crashed into construction equipment on October 31, 2000 while attempting to take off from a closed runway at Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (now Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport). It caught fire and was destroyed; 79 passengers and three crew members died[16] - there were 96 survivors.
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines, 22:08 Thursday August 23, 2001. The Boeing 747-368 rolled into a drainage ditch and toppled forward causing the severe damage to the nose section. Reportedly, the aircraft was being taxied by a ground engineer on the no. 2 and 3 engines. When trying to make a turn brakes and steering had no effect and the aircraft continued into the ditch. It is said that the aux hydraulic pumps switches (which actuate brakes and steering) were in the off position.[17]
  • MK Airlines, a 747-200F, crashed about 700m short of the runway near Port Harcourt Airport, Nigeria on November 27, 2001. Of the 13 on board, 1 died.[18]
  • China Airlines Flight 611, a 747-200B, broke up over the Taiwan Strait mid-flight on May 25, 2002, en route to Hong Kong International Airport from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taiwan 20 minutes after take off. All 225 occupants on board died. Metal fatigue at the site of a previous repair was cited as a cause.
  • MK Airlines Flight 1602, a 747-200F, crashed while attempting to take off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport on October 14, 2004. The aircraft's take-off weight had been incorrectly calculated and it was only airborne briefly before impacting an earthen berm at the end of the runway. The seven-member crew died.[19]
  • Tradewinds International Airlines Flight 444, a 747-200F was substantially damaged after aborting a takeoff from Rionegro/Medellín-José María Córdova Airport and overrunning the end of the runway on June 7, 2006. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and withdrawn from service.[20]


  • UPS Airlines Flight 6, a 747-400F, crashed close to Dubai International Airport on September 3, 2010; two crew members died.[24]
  • Asiana Airlines Flight 991, a 747-400F, crashed to the sea near Jeju island on July 28, 2011, two crew members died.
  • National Airlines Flight 102, 747-400BCF, stalled and crashed shortly after taking off from Bagram Airfield, in Bagram, Afghanistan, on April 29, 2013; all 7 crew died.[25]
  • On December 22, 2013, British Airways Flight 34, a Boeing 747–436 G-BNLL, hit a building at O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg after missing a turning on a taxiway. The starboard wing was severely damaged but there were no injuries amongst the crew or 189 passengers, however four members of ground staff were injured when the wing smashed into the building.[150] The aircraft was officially written off in February 2014.


  1. ^ Rumerman, Judy. "The Boeing 747." U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, 2003. Retrieved: April 30, 2006.
  2. ^ "Jumbo and the Gremlins." TIME, February 2, 1970. Retrieved: December 20, 2007.
  3. ^ "747 Model Orders and Deliveries data." The Boeing Company, March 2015. Retrieved: April 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Boeing Commercial Airplanes prices." The Boeing Company. Retrieved: August 8, 2012.
  5. ^ a b List of Boeing 747 hull losses retrieved 2013-02-17.
  6. ^ Page describing N4723U incident retrieved 2008-01-13.
  7. ^ Page describing N808MC incident retrieved 2008-01-13.
  8. ^ Page describing N752PA incident retrieved 2008-01-13.
  9. ^ Page describing JA8109 incident retrieved 2008-01-13.
  10. ^ Page describing the crash of IIAF 5-8104 retrieved 2008-01-13.
  11. ^ National Transportation Safety Board. "Special Investigation Report - Wing Failure of Boeing 747-131, Near Madrid, Spain, May 9, 1976" (PDF). Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "1977: Hundreds dead in Tenerife plane crash", "On This Day." BBC News. Retrieved: 26 May 2006.
  13. ^ "Japan marks air crash anniversary", BBC News. Retrieved: 12 August 2005.
  14. ^ Page describing N807FT accident retrieved 2015-02-14.
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-2B3F (SCD) F-GPAN Chennai Airport (MAA)". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  16. ^ "Rushing to Die, The Crash of Singapore Airlines flight 006". Airline Safety. Retrieved: 17 December 2007.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-246F 9G-MKI Port Harcourt". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  19. ^ Page describing 9G-MKJ accident. Retrieved: 17 August 2008.
  20. ^ Page describing N922FT accident. Retrieved: 6 April 2015.
  21. ^ Page describing N704CK accident. Retrieved: 17 August 2008.
  22. ^ "US cargo plane crashes into Colombian house, 3 dead". AFP. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  23. ^ "Crash: Kalitta B742 at Bogota on Jul 7th 2008, engine fire, impacted a farm house". The Aviation Herald. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  24. ^ "Cargo plane crashes near Dubai motorway killing two". BBC. 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  25. ^ "Crash: National Air Cargo B744 at Bagram on Apr 29th 2013, lost height shortly after takeoff following load shift and stall". Retrieved 2014-03-29.