Pan Am Flight 812

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Pan American Flight 812
Pan American World Airways B-707 N445PA.jpg
A Boeing 707-320B of Pan American World Airways, sister plane of the aircraft which crashed
Accident summary
Date April 22, 1974
Summary Controlled flight into terrain,instrument failure, pilot error
Site 68 km (42 mi) northwest of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Passengers 96
Crew 11
Fatalities 107 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 707-320B
Aircraft name Clipper Climax
Operator Pan American World Airways
Registration N446PA
Flight origin Kai Tak International Airport
1st stopover Ngurah Rai International Airport
2nd stopover Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport
3rd stopover Nadi International Airport
4th stopover Honolulu International Airport
Destination Los Angeles International Airport

Pan Am Flight 812, operated by a Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-321B registered N446PA and named Clipper Climax, was a scheduled international flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, California, with intermediate stops at Denpasar, Sydney, Nadi, and Honolulu. On April 22, 1974, it crashed into rough mountainous terrain while preparing for a runway 09 approach to Denpasar after a 4-hour 20-minute flight from Hong Kong. The location of the accident is about 42.5 nautical miles (78.7 km) northwest of Ngurah Rai International Airport. Clipper Climax was the jet used in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory to deliver the guarded shipment of Wonka bars.

Accident[edit]

Flight 812 was a regularly scheduled flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles via Bali, Sydney, Nadi, and Honolulu. The San Francisco-based cockpit crew consisted of Captain Donald Zinke, First Officer John Schroeder, Third Officer Melvin Pratt, Flight Engineer Timothy Crowley, and Flight Engineer Edward Keating. The Los Angeles-based cabin crew were Purser Mary Butterworth, Purser Beverly Schmitt, Flight Attendant Anne Beran, Flight Attendant Janice Fanning, Flight Attendant Ingrid Johansson, and Flight Attendant Donna Kent.

There were 96 passengers from 9 countries on board. 70 passengers were bound for Bali. 24 were bound for Sydney. 2 were bound Nadi.

Flight 812 departed Hong Kong on April 22, 1974, at 1108 UTC. The estimated flying time to Bali was 4 hours and 23 minutes. At 1523 UTC, Flight 812 was on final approach to Bali. The aircraft reported reaching 2,500 ft. Bali Tower gave instructions to continue approach and to report when runway was in sight. Acknowledgement was made by PA812 by saying, "Check inbound". At 1526 the pilot-in-command requested the visibility by calling, "Hey - Tower, what is your visibility out there now?"

However, according to the transcription of Air Traffic Control voice recorder this message was never received by the Bali Tower. Apparently this was the last message transmitted by the aircraft. Bali Tower kept trying to contact the aircraft by calling, "Clipper eight one two, Bali Tower", and "Clipper eight one two, Bali Tower, how do you read", several times. However, no answer was received from the aircraft. It was subsequently found that the aircraft hit a mountain approximately 37 miles northwest of the Bali airport.

Investigation and determination of accident cause[edit]

Examination on the disposition of the wreckage and inspection of the site indicated that no structural failure of the aircraft occurred before impact. It was determined that the premature execution of a right-hand turn to join the 263-degree outbound track, which was based on the indication given by only one of the radio direction finders while the other one was still in steady condition, is the most probable cause of the accident.

Nationalities of those on board[edit]

The 107 victims on the aircraft came from 11 countries.[1][2][3]
Nationality Passengers Crew Total
 United States 17 9 26
 Sweden 0 1 1
 Denmark 0 1 1
 Japan 29 0 29
 Indonesia 18 0 18
 Australia 16 0 16
 West Germany 4 0 4
 Canada 3 0 3
 India 6 0 6
 Philippines 2 0 2
 Republic of China 1 0 1
Total 96 11 107

Several memorial plaques are to be found for this crash in Jl. Padang Galak, next to the beach Temple, Kesiman, Denpasar East, Indonesia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]