Pan Am Flight 812
A Boeing 707-320B of Pan American World Airways, sister plane of the aircraft which crashed
|Date||April 22, 1974|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain,instrument failure, pilot error|
|Site||68 km (42 mi) northwest of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 707-320B|
|Aircraft name||Clipper Climax|
|Operator||Pan American World Airways|
|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.
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
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
|Republic of China||1||0||1|
Several memorial plaques are to be found for this crash in Jl. Padang Galak, next to the beach Temple, Kesiman, Denpasar East, Indonesia.
- Accident description for N446PA at the Aviation Safety Network
- "Pan American World Airways, Boeing 707-321C, accident at Tinga-Tinga, Bali, Indonesia, on 22 April 1974.." (Final accident report) (Archive) 20 March 1975 – released by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Indonesia. – Alternate link
- "107 Feared Dead in Bali Air Crash." Toledo Blade. Tuesday April 23, 1974. Page 1. Google News (18 of 37).
- "Jetliner crash on Bali claims 107 aboard." The Bryan Times. Tuesday April 23, 1974. Volume 26, No. 96. Page 1. Google News (1 of 9).
- Account of U.S. diplomat at the scene., Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST)