China Airlines plane crashes
The following events are those involving at least one passenger death where the aircraft flight had a direct or indirect role. Excluded would be events where the only passengers killed were stowaways, hijackers, or saboteurs.
- 12 August 1970; China Airlines YS11; Taipei, Taiwan: The aircraft was on approach under conditions of heavy rain and low clouds when it struck a low ridge about 660 feet (200 meters) about one half mile (800 meters) from the runway. Two of the five crew members and 12 of the 26 passengers were killed.
- 21 November 1971; China Airlines Caravelle; near Penghu Islands, Formosa Strait between Taiwan and the PRC: The aircraft was believed to have been destroyed by an inflight explosion caused by a bomb. All 17 passengers and eight crew members were killed.
- 27 February 1980; China Airlines 707-300; Manila, Philippines: The crew executed a steep and unstabilized approach, touching down hard short of the runway and bouncing, eventually stopping on the runway after having the two outboard engines and parts of wing departing the aircraft. Two of the 122 passengers were killed.
- 16 August 1982; China Airlines 747; near Hong Kong: The aircraft encountered severe inflight turbulence. Two of the 292 passengers were killed.
- 16 February 1986; China Airlines 737-200; Pescadores Islands, Taiwan: The aircraft touched down on the runway but crashed during an attempted go around. All six passengers and seven crew members were killed.
- 26 October 1989; China Airlines 737-200; near Hualien, Taiwan: The crew was using an incorrect departure procedure and hit cloud shrouded high ground at 7000 feet (2130 meters). All seven crew members and 49 passengers were killed.
- 26 April 1994; China Airlines A300-600; Nagoya, Japan: Crew errors led to the aircraft stalling and crashing during approach. All 15 crew and 249 of the 264 passengers were killed.
- 16 February 1998; China Airlines A300-600; near Taipei, Taiwan: The aircraft crashed into a residential area short of the runway during its second landing attempt. The scheduled flight had been inbound from the island of Bali in Indonesia. The event occurred under conditions of darkness with rain and reduced visibility due to fog. All 15 crew and 182 passengers were killed. At least seven persons on the ground were also killed.
- 22 August 1999; China Airlines MD-11; Flight 642; Hong Kong, China:
The aircraft was landing in Hong Kong at night and during a storm after a flight from Bangkok, Thailand.
The aircraft struck the runway and came to rest upside down and on fire.
All 15 crew members survived, but three of the 300 passengers were killed.
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Accident report from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department
- 25 May 2002; China Airlines 747-200; near theb> Penghu Islands, Taiwan:
The aircraft crashed into the sea about 20 minutes into a scheduled flight from Taipei to Hong Kong.
The impact area was in the Taiwan Straits near the Penghu Islands about 75 km (47 mi) from the coast of Taiwan.
Weather and flight conditions were normal, and no distress signal or other communication was received prior to the crash.
The accident investigation concluded that the in-flight breakup was due to a structural failure in the aft lower lobe section of the fuselage.
The investigation attributed this failure to an inadequate repair of tail strike damage that was sustained in 1980.
All 19 crew members and 206 passengers were killed.
The accident aircraft was the last 747-200 in passenger service with China Airlines and was to be sold to another carrier next month. According to Boeing, the aircraft was delivered to China Airlines in July 1979 and had accumulated approximately 21,180 landings and 64,394 flight hours. This nearly 22-year old aircraft was newer than similar models in the fleets of U.S. airlines. According to the FAA, the average age of Boeing 747-200 and 747-300 models in U.S. airline fleets at the time of this event was 24 years.
This was the 26th fatal event involving the Boeing 747. The next most recent 747 event was an October 2000 Singapore Airlines accident in Taipei that killed 79 passengers and four crew members. There have been several fatal events involving in-flight breakups, including the 1996 event involving TWA Flight 800 and a November 2001 fatal event involving an American Airlines Airbus A300 over New York City.
Previous in-flight breakups involving jet airliners have been due to varied causes, including a fuel tank explosion, severe weather or other atmospheric phenomena, bombs, missiles, and midair collisions.
20 August 2007; China Airlines 737-800; flight 120; Naha, Japan: Shortly after landing at Naha on the island of Okinawa, the left engine caught fire and the crew initiated an emergency evacuation. Although the aircraft was destroyed by fire, all 157 passengers (including two toddlers) and eight crew members survived. Because this event did not result in a passenger death, it does not constitute a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com.
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