Korean Air Lines Flight 007
The tragic history of Flight 007, also known as Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (KAL 007), has made it infamous. This commercial passenger aircraft, a Boeing 747, took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on September 1, 1983, heading for Seoul, South Korea, with a layover in Anchorage, Alaska.
The flight, however, drastically diverged from its intended fly course across the North Pacific Ocean and entered Soviet airspace. Tragically, Flight 007 was shot down by the military of the Soviet Union close to Sakhalin Island, killing all 269 aboard, including 61 Americans.
International outcry over the incident increased Cold War tensions. The Soviet Union originally denied knowing where the aircraft was, but later admitted their error and said they had thought it was an American reconnaissance plane. This incident raised awareness of the significance of air travel safety in the context of ongoing international political tensions and intensified examination of military and civilian communication and navigation systems.