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Dedicated to preserving the history of Pan American World Airways

1932-1949            1950 -1969            1970-1988

Accidents: 1970-1988
Click on icons (text), (pictures), (video), for further information.


Clipper Rising Sun 07/25/1971 Boeing B-707 (N461PA)
Location: Manila, Philippines
3 Aboard / 3 Fatal
The aircraft descended too low on approach and hit a mountain.

Clipper America 07/30/1971 Boeing B-747(N747PA)
Location: San Francisco, California        TIME: c 15:28 
Flight: 845 
210 Aboard / 0 Fatal
The aircraft struck approach lights at the departure end of runway during takeoff. Miscalculation of available runway length and takeoff speed by crew. Erroneous information from the dispatcher. The aircraft was named Clipper America.

Clipper Winged Racer 07/22/1973 Boeing B-707-321B(N417PA)
Location: Off Papeete, Tahiti        Time: 22:06 
Flight: 816 
Route: Papeete – Honolulu 
Year of Delivery: 1966
78 Aboard / 78 Fatal (one possible survivor)
The aircraft crashed 30 seconds after takeoff from Faa Airport into the ocean. Cause unknown. It is possible an instrument failure diverted the crews attention during a turn. 

Clipper Titian 11/03/1973 Boeing B-707-321C(N458PA)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts       Time: 09:39 
Flight: 160
Route: New York City – Prestwick
3 Aboard / 3 Fatal
Smoke in the cockpit and uncontrollable fire caused by spillage of nitric acid on sawdust packing in the cargo hold.

Clipper Celestial 12/17/1973 Boeing B-707-321A(N407PA)
Location: Rome, Italy        Time: 13:00
Route: Rome – Beirut
177 Aboard / 30 Fatal
Two phosphorus bombs thrown into the aircraft ready for departure. The terrorists were arrested and found guilty.

Clipper Radiant 01/30/1974 Boeing B-707-321B(N454PA)
Location: Pango Pango, U.S. Samoa        Time: 23:41
Flight: 806
101 Aboard / 97 Fatal
The aircraft crashed and burned while making ILS approach to Pango Pango International Airport. There was a failure of the crew to correct an excessive rate of descent causing the aircraft to fly into trees short of the runway. Windshear. Most aboard the aircraft were not injured by the crash but succumbed to fire and panic afterwards.

Clipper Climax 04/22/1974 Boeing B-707-321B(N446PA)
Location: Grogak, Bali, Indonesia        Time: 22:26
Flight: 812
Route: Hong Kong – Denpasar
107 Aboard / 107 Fatal
The aircraft was on a flight from Hong Kong to Denpassar, Bali. While on approach, the plane crashed into Mt. Mesehe at 4,000 ft. killing all aboard. Premature execution of a right hand turn to join the 263 degrees outbound track which was based on the indication given by only one of the ADFs while the other one was still in steady condition. External or internal interference causing an incorrect indication from the automatic direction finder.

Clipper Victor 03/27/1977 Boeing B-747-121(N736PA)
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain        Time: 17:07
Pan American World Airways / KLM Flight: 1736/4805
Route: Tenerife – Las Palmas / Tenerife – Las Palmas
Boeing B-747-121 / Boeing B-747-206B
Aboard 644 / Fatal 583
Both aircraft were diverted to Tenerife because of a bombing at Las Palmas Airport. After an extended delay, both planes were instructed to back track up the runway. The KLM plane reached its takeoff point while the Pan Am plane was still on the runway. The Pan Am plane continued up the runway missing the taxiway turnout. There was heavy fog on the runway. The KLM plane began its takeoff roll without permission with the Pan Am plane still on the runway. The KLM plane hit the Pan Am plane just as it was taking off. Both planes burst into flames. This was the worst death toll in aviation history. KLM 234 + 14 crew, Pan Am 326 + 9 crew killed. 

Clipper Defiance 07/09/1982 Boeing B-727-235(N4737)
Location: Kenner, Louisiana        Time: 16:09
Flight: 759
Route: New Orleans – Las Vegas
Year of Delivery: 1968
145 Aboard / 153 Fatal (8 on ground)
The aircraft crashed during a thunderstorm, 29 seconds after taking off from New Orleans International Airport. The plane reached an altitude of 95 to 150 feet and then began to descend and crashed into trees and houses bursting into flames. Microburst induced windshear. Limited capability of current ground-based low-level windshear detection technology.

Clipper Empress of the Seas 09/05/1986 Boeing B-747(N656PA)
Location:  Karachi, Pakistan
383 Aboard / 16 Fatal
Hijacking. Sixteen passengers killed while on ground.

Clipper Maid of the Seas 12/21/1988 Boeing B-747-121A(N739PA)
Location: Lockerbie, Scotland        Time: 18:56
Flight: 103
Route: London – New York City
Year of Delivery: 1970
259 Aboard / 270 Fatal (11 on the ground)
The airliner disappeared from radar shortly after leveling off at FL 310 while on a flight from Heathrow Airport, London, to New York. Detonation of an explosive device in the forward cargo area caused the aircraft to break up into two main sections.  The nose section of the aircraft tore away from the aircraft. The fuselage continued flight for 13 miles, impacting the village of Lockerbie, Scotland.  The total search area spanned 845 square miles and debris turned up as far as 80 miles from Lockerbie. Lybian terrorists are suspected of bombing the London – New York flight.  

1932-1949            1950 -1969            1970-1988

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