1997 Airline safety and security review

This review includes all significant safety or security related occurrences from 1997. Numbered events involve the death of at least one airline passenger, and all events meet criteria set by AirSafe.com

  1. 9 January 1997; Delta Connection (Comair) Embraer Brasilia; near Ida, MI: The aircraft was en route to Detroit Metro Airport from Cincinnati when it crashed shortly before dusk in a field about 20 miles (32 km) south of the airport. According to various news reports, the aircraft spiraled into the ground and was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire. The weather at the time was overcast with snow, visibility 1.5 miles (2.4 km), and light winds. The flight crew did not have any unusual communications with air traffic control prior to the crash. All three crew members and 26 passengers were killed.
    Delta Air Lines plane crashes since 1970
    Embraer Brasilia plane crashes

  2. 19 April 1997; Merpati Nusantara BAe ATP; near Belitung, Indonesia: The aircraft was inbound from Jakarta departed controlled flight at about 2000 feet during approach and crashed short of the runway. The flight was in good weather and daylight conditions. Four of the five crew members and 11 of the 48 passengers were killed.

  3. 8 May 1997; China Southern Airlines 737-300; Shenzhen, China: The aircraft landed at night during a heavy rainstorm at Shenzhen-Huangtian airport after a domestic flight from Chongqing. The aircraft apparently broke up and caught fire after it veered off the runway. Early reports indicate that at least two of the nine crew members and 33 of the 65 passengers were killed.
    Fatal passenger events since 1970 for jet airliners of the PRC
    737 plane crashes

  4. 6 June 1997; Bazair Viscount; near Bunia, Zaire: The aircraft crashed after encountering an unknown problem en route and crashed about 25 miles (40 km) west of the town. All seven crew members and 20 passengers were killed.

  5. 9 July 1997; Transportes Aereos Regionais (TAM) Fokker 100, near São Jose dos Campos, Brazil: There was an explosion shortly after takeoff in the rear of the passenger cabin, blowing one passenger out of the aircraft. The passenger died as a result of either the explosion or the 7900 foot (2400 meter) fall. Six of the 54 other passengers were injured. The explosion was of undetermined origin and blew out about a 10 by 5 foot (3 by 1.5 meter) section of the right rear of the fuselage.
    TAM plane crashes since 1970
    Fokker 100 plane crashes

  6. 17 July 1997; Sempati Air F27-600; PK-YPM; flight 304; near Badung, Indonesia: The aircraft, which was leased from Trigana Air Service was on a scheduled domestic flight from Bandung to Jakarta, Indonesia. One engine apparently failed shortly after takeoff. The flight crew attempted to land the aircraft at a nearby military airfield, but the aircraft hit a wall in a housing complex and crashed in a field about 650 feet (200m) short of the runway. All five crew members and 23 of the 45 passengers were killed.

  7. 2 August 1997; Continental Airlines Boeing 757-200; Lima, Peru: During passenger boarding, an elderly passenger in a wheelchair was assisted up the rear portable stairs by a gate agent. The passenger was instructed by the gate agent to remain at the top of the steps while the agent loaded the wheelchair into the cargo bin. However, the passenger continued to walk into the aircraft, through the aft galley and then through the catering door. The passenger fell to the tarmac through a space between the catering truck and the airplane. The passenger died from the fall injuries. The eight crew members and 141 other passengers were not injured.
    Continental Airlines plane crashes since 1970
    757 plane crashes

  8. 5 August 1997; Korean Air 747-300; Agana, Guam USA: The aircraft crashed about three miles (4.8 km) short of the runway during a night time approach in heavy rain. Twenty one of the 23 crew members and 207 of the 231 passengers were killed.
    Korean Air plane crashes since 1970
    747 plane crashes

  9. 10 August 1997; Formosa Airlines Dornier 228-212; Matsu Island, Taiwan: The aircraft abandoned the first approach due to bad visibility and high winds. On the second approach, the aircraft then flew into a 300m high mountain and burst into flames. All three crew members and 13 passengers were killed.
    Dornier 228 plane crashes

  10. 3 September 1997; Vietnam Airlines Tu-134B; VN-A120; flight 815; Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The aircraft carried out an approach during heavy rain and crashed about one half mile (800 meters) short of the runway. All six crew members and 59 of the 60 passengers were killed.

  11. 6 September 1997; Royal Brunei Airlines (Merpati Intan) Dornier 228-212; near Miri, Malaysia: The aircraft was inbound from Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) to Miri (Malaysia) during a night flight under visual conditions when it crashed into a hill. Both crew members and all eight passengers were killed.
    Dornier 228 plane crashes

  12. 26 September 1997; Garuda Indonesia Airways A300B4; near Medan, Indonesia: The aircraft was on approach to Medan on a flight from Jakarta when it crashed in a mountainous area about 19 miles (30 km) from the airport. Extensive smoke and haze from numerous forest fires caused reduced visibility in the area. All 12 crew members and 222 passengers were killed.
    Garuda Indonesia Airways plane crashes since 1970
    A300 plane crashes

  13. 10 October 1997; Austral Lineas Aereas DC9-32; near Nuevo Berlin, Uruguay: The aircraft crashed during a night approach in stormy weather. The aircraft departed Posadas, Argentina and crashed about 280 miles (448 km) from Buenos Aires, its intended destination. All five crew members and 69 passengers were killed.
    Austral plane crashes since 1970
    DC9 plane crashes

    12 October 1997; Long-EZ; Pacific Grove, CA: Singer, songwriter, and actor John Denver was killed when he crashed the aircraft he was piloting after it ran out of fuel just off the coast at Pacific Grove, CA. Denver apparently lost control of the aircraft while attempting to manipulate the fuel selector handle. Denver had recently purchased the aircraft and had about a half-hour orientation flight the day before the accident. The NTSB cited Denver's unfamiliarity with the aircraft and his failure to have the aircraft refueled as causal factors in the accident. Denver was the sole occupant of the aircraft. This accident did not involve an airline aircraft.
    More details about this accident
    Other accidents involving celebrities

  14. 9 December 1997; Sowind Air Bandeirante; Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba Canada: The aircraft crashed short of the runway during an approach in freezing rain and fog. One of the two crew members and three of the 15 passengers were killed.
    Bandeirante plane crashes

  15. 13 December 1997; Servicios y Transportes Aereos (STAP) Metro III; La Veriente, Bolivia: The aircraft crashed about 1000 feet (300m) beyond the end of the runway, possibly due to engine failure. One of the two crew members and nine of the 17 passengers were killed.

  16. 15 December 1997; Tajikistan Airlines Tupolev 154B; Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: The aircraft was on approach to Sharjah after a flight from Khodzhent, Tajikistan when it crashed in a river about 8 miles (13 km) from the airport. Eight of the nine crew members and all 77 passengers were killed.

  17. 17 December 1997; AeroSvit Yak-42; near Salonica, Greece: The aircraft was inbound from Odessa, Ukraine to Salonica and was in a holding pattern when it impacted high ground. All eight crew members and 62 passengers were killed.

  18. 19 December 1997; SilkAir 737-300; near Palembang, Indonesia: The aircraft crashed in a river about 35 miles (56 km) north of Palembang while en route between Jakarta and Singapore. All seven crew members and 97 passengers were killed.
    Singapore Airlines and SilkAir plane crashes since 1970
    737 plane crashes

  19. 28 December 1997; United Airlines 747-100; over Pacific Ocean near Japan: The aircraft encountered severe turbulence during cruise about two hours after departing Japan. One of the 346 passengers was killed. None of the 23 crew members were killed but three sustained serious injuries.
    United Airlines plane crashes since 1970
    747 plane crashes

Other Years
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
2005 , 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

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1997 Airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/events/fatal97.htm -- Revised: 18 August 2015