Pan Am Flight 217
A Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-321B, sister to the accident aircraft
|Date||December 12, 1968|
|Site||near Caracas, Venezuela|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 707-321B|
|Aircraft name||Clipper Malay|
|Operator||Pan American World Airways|
|Flight origin||New York John F. Kennedy Airport, United States|
|Destination||Simón Bolívar International Airport (Venezuela)|
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.
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.