Pan Am Flight 217

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pan Am Flight 217
Boeing 707-321B, Pan American World Airways - Pan Am AN1013999.jpg
A Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-321B, sister to the accident aircraft
Occurrence summary
Date December 12, 1968
Summary Pilot error
Site near Caracas, Venezuela
Passengers 42
Crew 9
Fatalities 51 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 707-321B
Aircraft name Clipper Malay
Operator Pan American World Airways
Registration N494PA
Flight origin New York John F. Kennedy Airport, United States
Destination Simón Bolívar International Airport (Venezuela)

Pan Am Flight 217 was a Boeing 707 that crashed with no survivors near Caracas, Venezuela on December 12, 1968 due to pilot error.


Pan Am Flight 217 was operated by a Pan American (Pan Am) Boeing 707-321B (registration N494PA, Clipper Malay).[1]

Accident description[edit]

The aircraft took off from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on an international scheduled flight to Caracas Simon Bolivar International Airport on December 12, 1968. When the aircraft was nearing Caracas at night towards the end of its three-hour flight, it disappeared from Caracas air traffic control's radar screens. At this point a call was made to the Venezuelan Navy to search for the aircraft. The Boeing 707's wreckage was found 11.4 mi (18.3 km) from Caracas. All 51 passengers and crew died in the crash.[1]

One of those who perished in the flight 217 crash was Olga Antonetti, a former Miss Venezuela.[2]

Accident cause[edit]

The cause of the crash was believed to be pilot error, as a result of an optical illusion created by the lights of the city on an upslope. This caused the plane to crash into the sea and explode on impact, killing all on board.[1]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 10°36′00″N 66°57′00″W / 10.6000°N 66.9500°W / 10.6000; -66.9500