The Day A Sukhoi 15 Shot Down A Boeing Passenger Flight.

by Daniel Russ on October 21, 2017

Post image for The Day A Sukhoi 15 Shot Down A Boeing Passenger Flight.

Flight 902 on the ice in a lake in Finland

 

Sukhoi 15 Flagon D

 

SU- 15

 

 

SU- 15

 

 

R-60 Infrared Missile

 

It’s the 20th of April, 1978 and The flight crew, Captain Kim Chang Kyu Lee, co-pilot Chyn Xing, and Navigator Lee Kun-shik are all flying a Boeing 707 filled with passengers. This was Flight 902 Pan American World Airways Boeing 707. The Clipper Star of Hope. As sometimes happened in aircraft with inertial guidance systems, an error in calculations directed the pilots to head Westward in the Bering Sea where Soviet military naval and air assets were stationed. It became an intrusion into Soviet airspace by an air craft aligned politically with NATO and the United States.

It might be important to note that the pilot of the 707 was an ex Korean Mig-15 pilot during the Korean War. His skills as a pilot would bring him some acclaim.

Once Bosov intercepted the 707, he reported to his superiors in Murmansk that this was a passenger airline. The order issued to him was to shoot down the aircraft. Despite his many pleas to the contrary he was ordered to shoot it down and so he dropped back and tracked two P-60 missiles. These were Cold War era Soviet short range air to air missiles. His first shot failed to track and flew past the aircraft. The second one blew the port outboard engine off and ripped holes in the cabin.

Captain Kim Chang Kyu dived desperately and pulled up at the last second, struggling with the scontrols and able to scout for a place to land. He and the co pilot put the aircraft on the frozen lake and the plane skidded onto into Finland’s territory.

Oddly in 1983 another Su – 15 Flagon D aircraft would shoot down KAL 007 in an incident clouded in spies and propaganda.

The Flagon D was designed to shoot down the B-52. It did not ever do that. It did shoot down two other whales.

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