Written By Danley Rubica on Friday, July 25, 2014 | 9:40:00 PM
The world is surely shocked after hearing the news of another passenger civilian airliner being shot down by possibly military(?) or rebel(?) personnels, in form of the incident which involved the Malaysia Airlines 17 which is bound to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia coming from Amsterdam, Netherlands. These type of shot-down incidents is not new in aviation history. Here, we take a look back to previous related incidents before the shot down of Malaysia Airlines 17.

A wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines 17, reported to be shot down in Ukraine
Photo courtesy of BBC
  • Siberian Airlines 1812 (October 4, 2001)
    The flight is bound from Tel Aviv, Israel to Novosibirsk, Russia on October 4, 2001. The aircraft, which is a Tupolev Tu-154 was reportedly shot down by a Ukranian surface-to-air missile, leaving all 78 passengers, composed of 66 passengers and 12 flight crew on-board, dead. Ukraine paid an amount of $15 million to the surviving family members of those who died on the incident.
  • Transair Georgia Shotdowns (September 21 - 22, 1993)
    The September 21 incident involved a Tupolev  Tu-134 aircraft belonging to Transair Georgia bound from Sochi to Abkhazia. As it was going on approach to Sukhumi-Babusheri Airport in Abkhazia, it was reported to be hit by a rebel surface-to-air missile and crashed immediately at Black Sea, killing all the 5 crew members and 22 passengers. The September 22 incident involved a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft belonging to the same airline company (Also, it was reported that it carried Georgian soldiers on-board) bound from Tbilisi to Abkhazia. As it approaches the Sukhumi-Babusheri Airport, it was shot down once again by rebels and crashed immediately on the airport's runway, killing 108 of 132 passengers and crew on-board.
  • Iran Air 655 (July 3, 1988)
    This incident involves an Airbus A300 passenger aircraft owned by Iran Air and is bound from Tehran to Dubai and was shot down by the United States Navy cruiser USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988. According to the investigation, it was shot down by the cruiser for mistaking that it is an Iranian F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft. The incident left 290 fatalities composed of 290 passengers and 16 flight crew. This incident is considered to be the seventh deadliest aviation disaster in aviation history (Excluding the 9/11 attacks).
  • Korean Airlines 007 (September 1, 1983)
    This incident is probably one of the most notorious in the Cold War time between the USSR and the United States. The incident involves a Boeing 747 owned by Korean Airlines bound from New York City to Seoul, with a stop over in Anchorage, Alaska. As the aircraft is approaching near the Soviet airspace, it was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 fighter aircraft, leaving 269 passengers and crew on-board dead, including Lawrence McDonald which was the congressman of the state of Georgia at that time. The USSR denied the involvement at the incident at first but later admitted to shot down the plane, believing it was carrying American spies. This incident had sparked the usage of GPS to civilian use and especially, to passenger aviation.
  • Air Rhodesia 825 and 827 (September 3, 1978 and February 12, 1979)
    The incident involves two different aircraft from Air Rhodesia in which both are shot down by the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Flight 825 incident, which happened on September 3, 1978 involves a Vickers Viscount aircraft bound from Victoria Falls to Salisbury, both cities are from Rhodesia. The ZIPRA shot down the aircraft using a surface-to-air missile crashing it immediately leaving 48 of 56 people on-board dead. Investigations however, said that 38 died immediately in the crash and the 10 were massacred by ZIPRA immediately after the crash.
    Five months later on February 12, 1979, Another Air Rhodesia flight was shot down by the ZIPRA once again. The incident involved again a Vickers Viscount aircraft, bound from Kariba to Salisbury, Rhodesia, was shot down by ZIPRA using a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile which crashed the aircraft immediately. The second incident left all 59 people on-board dead.
  • Libyan Arab Airlines 114 (February 21, 1973)
    This incident in February 21, 1973 involved a Boeing 727 aircraft, bound from Tripoli, Libya to Cairo, Egypt via Benghazi, Libya. The aircraft got lost contact because of the combined bad weather conditions and equipment failure over the northern areas of Egypt. The aircraft entered the Sinai Peninsula (Which is a part of Israeli airspace) without communication and was intercepted by two Israeli Air Force F-4 Phantoms. After the fighter pilots had thoughts that the civilian aircraft's pilot refuse to cooperate with their commands, they shot the aircraft, crashing it and leaving 105 of 113 people on-board dead. Due to the error of the incident, Israel paid compensations to the families' victims.
  • Cathay Pacific C-54 (July 23, 1954)
    This incident happened on July 23, 1954 which involved a Cathay Pacific C-54 Skymaster aircraft bound from Bangkok, Thailand to Hong Kong. The plane was shot down by China's PLAAF LA-11 fighter planes, causing it to crash to the sea, killing 10 of 19 passengers on board. China then claimed responsibility to the crash and made compensation to Cathay Pacific and to the survivors. It is rumored as well that the Chinese government had executed the pilots who shot down the said aircraft.


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