Official Guam Crash Site Center - Korean Air Flt 801
Specific FACTS and phone numbers.
story of RIKA'S MIRACLE, an 11 year old survivor of Flight 801.
Special instructions: Once you arrive to Rika's homepage. Click main picture to go back into Time.
Cumulative Press releases and picture of rescue.
Expression of Condolence to the survivors and families of victims.
Passenger Manifest for 6aug97 KAL Flight 801.
Transcript of Conversation between Guam Tower and ill-fated 6aug97 KAL Flight 801.
Governor receives National Guard highest civilian honor.
Location of Guam with respect to the world.
Computer World Magazine Reports on KAL Guam Crash.
Yomiuri Shimbun, Osaka Newspaper reports on KAL Guam Crash.

The marble oblilisk has become a place of peace where many have come to pay their respects ... a hallowed space where dignity reigns and a grieving people seek closure in their bereavement.

This WebPage contains vital information on the ill-fated KAL Flight 801.

Korean Air doubles seats to meet summer demand. Guam PDN Jul 4 2003

Korean Air announced that it would be increasing its flight frequency on the Seoul-Guam route from once to twice daily to bring more tourists to Guam during a busy summer travel season. Hong Gyu Hur, regional manager of KAL Guam office said this represents a combined 17,500 flights seats during the peak summer season.

Spread of buggy software raises new questions

Sunday, April 27, 2003 Posted: 2:17 PM EDT (1817 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Malfunctions caused by bizarre and frustrating glitches are becoming harder and harder to escape now that software controls everything. And many believe it would help if software makers were held accountable for sloppy programming. Bad code can be more than costly. Sometimes it's lethal. --A poorly programmed ground-based altitude warning system was partly responsible for the 1997 Korean Air crash in Guam that killed 228 people.

Korean Air flies back to Guam Dec 28, 2001

The first Korean Air daily flight from Seoul and its more than 150 passengers was cited as a possible sign of recovery in the local tourism industry. The flight yesterday follows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's upgrade of South Korea's international aviation safety ratings on Dec. 6. That upgrade lifted restrictions imposed in August on Korean carriers that prevented Korean Air from resuming flights to Guam. Asiana Airlines, which also was restricted from expanding service to Guam by the safety rating, has plans to begin flights from South Korea's second largest city, Busan, in early January. Asiana already has flights from Seoul. Korean guests makes up 7 percent of visitors to Guam in 2000, comprising 87,000 of the 1,288,002 visitors here that year, according to Pacific Daily News.

FAA Assures U.S. Airport Safety Resolved After 1997 Radar faulted in Plane Mishaps

Mon Oct 9, 2000 Los Angeles Times. WASHINGTON- The National Transportation Safety Board has studied accidents where pilot fatigue have played a role. The NTSB said pilot fatigue figured in the crash of a Korean Air Boeing 747 on Guam, Aug 6, 1977. The crash was blamed on errors by the captain and first officer, who ignored preflight briefings, their cockpit instruments and warning systems before flying the plane into a hillside while attempting to land. Contributing to those errors, the NTSB said, was the captain's weariness.

The NTSB said the accident happened during the early morning hours - "a time of day often associated with degraded alertness, "and about two hours after the captain's normal bedtime. The plane's cockpit voice recorder picked up several of his conversations about scheduling. Twenty-one minutes before the crash, the pilot said he was "really sleepy."

Wed Oct 20, 1999 Washington(AP) - A radar system that was supposed to warn low-flying planes of nearby obstacles was plagued with problems and fixed nationwide only after a 1997 fatal airplane crash on Guam, according to a published report.

In some cases, programming errors caused the Minimum Safe-Altitude Warning system not to operate over wide areas, including near busy airports such as those in Chicago and Dallas-Ft. Worth. In other cases, U.S. false alarms were so numerous that air trafic controllers placed cardboard over warning speakers to silence the noise.

The Federal Aviation Administration was warned about the trouble after a business jet crashed outside Washington in 1994, but it did not take decisive action to resolve it until after a Korean Air jumbo jet slammed into a hill on approach to Guam in August 1997, killing 228, said USA Today, which reported about the problems on Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which will hold a final hearing about the Korean Air Crash on Nov. 2, is expected to recommend that the FAA acknowledge that system problems contributed to the the accident.

Investigators have found plenty of blame for the crew: It appears they did not follow charts outlining a step-down approach procedure to the airport. Tapes also show there was cockpit confusion about whether another landing system using radio waves to outline the proper approach path was operational. It was not - as some crew members acknowledged on the tape.

The FAA has since standardized the operation of the system, inspects it monthly and checks each airport site with test aircraft every 18 months. However, the agency also said the system is "a tool" and pilots have the ultimate responsibility for maintaining the proper altitude.

"In 20/20 hindsight, we wish we could have done a better job prior to the (Guam) accident, but now the system is being managed in a uniform way rather than as a number of individual entities," said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.

The systems, installed in 1977, divide the area around the airport into a grid and are programmed with the highest point in each square. When radar detects a plane descending within 500 feet of one of those points, an alarm sounds in the air traffic center and radar screens flash with a sign saying "LA" or "LOW ALT." The controller is then supposed to warn the pilot by radio. The systems are now installed in 193 air traffic control facilities and monitor airsapce around airports with commercial traffic.

The safety board warned the FAA about the problem after the 1994 crash outside Washington, and the FAA replied that it had checked the remaining systems. Three more fatal crashes followed. Each was blamed on the pilots.

After the Guam crash, though, the FAA assembled a team of top computer experts to reanalyze the system. The team soon found that repairs were needed at nearly half of the 130 smaller airports that had the system.

In some cases, incorrect obstacle heights were entered into the database. In the case of the Chicago and Texas airports, errors led computers to calculate that planes were hundreds of feet higher than they actually were, effectively block alarms in wide areas.

In the case of Guam, a programmer disabled the system for all but a 1-mile band encircling the airport some 55 miles out at sea.

Korean President Kim Daejung criticizes Korean Air - Causes Korean Air president to step aside

By Sang-Hun Choe. Thur Apr 22, 1999 Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Korean President Kim Daejung demanded fundamental changes in Korean Air's management saying it must have professional leadership. "The issue of Korean Air is not a matter of an individual company but a matter of the whole country. Our country's credibility is at stake." "Korean Air is a typical case of management gone wrong with family members in its top managerial posts," Kim said. On Apr 23, 1999 Cho Yang-ho, 50, who ran Korean Air as president since 1992, left that post to become chairman of the airline instead. His father, Cho Joong-hoon, 79, left the airline but will retain the chairmanship of Hanjin, South Korea's sixth-largest conglomerate which owns Korean Air. Shim Yi-taek, 60, a vice president, succeeded the junior Cho as the airline's president with direct, day-to-day management responsibility. Shim is considered one of the few professional aviation managers in the company.

Korean Air has been plagued by disasters that have killed more than 700 people over the past 20 years, including 228 in the 1997 crash of a Boeing 747 on Guam.

The 1987 bombing by North Korean agents destroyed a Korean Air Boeing 707 near Burma, killing all 115 people aboard. On Thursday, a Korean Air cargo jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Hongqiao airport in Shanghai, China, killing its three crewmen and six people on the ground. After the crash, Delta Air Lines and Air Canada dropped its code-sharing flight partnership with Korean Air, saying it would not do business with any carrier it did not believe to be safe. Korean Air, formerly Korean Airlines, was founded 30 years ago by Cho Joong-hoon, 79, with eight planes flying local routes. The airline has since grown into the world's 13th largest carrier.

NTSB Numbers (671) 647-4617/4618

Guam Memorial Hospital
Survivor NametransportableRemark
1. Son, Sun YeoyesS.Korea
2. Lee, Chang WooyesS.Korea
3. Kim, Duck HwanyesS.Korea
4. You, Jung RyeyesS.Korea
5. Lee, Pan ShakyesS.Korea
6. Kwon, Jin HyeyesS.Korea
7. Kim, Min SeokyesS.Korea
8. Lee, Jae NamyesS.Korea
9. Kim, Jae SungyesS.Korea
10. Matsuda, RikaJapan
11. Son, Seung HeeyesS.Korea, flt attendant
12. Park, Seung BongyesS.Korea
Naval Hospital-SURVIVOR LIST
Survivor NametransportableRemark
1. Oh, Sang HeeyesS.Korea
2. Lee, Youn Jicritical, S.Korea Flt attendant
3. Ju, Se Jincritical, S.Korea
4. Park, Ju HeeYesS.Korea
5. Hong, Hwa KyungyesS.Korea
6. Lee, Yong HoyesS.Korea
7. Shim, Sang YoungS.Korea
8. Hong, Hyun SeongAmerican
9. Shin HyunyesS.Korea
10. Song, Yun HoyesS.Korea
11. Kim, Ji YoungyesS.Korea
12. Small, BarryNew Zealand
13. Shim, JeannieAmerican
14. Shim, AngelaAmerican

We salute and convey our Si Yu'us Ma'ase to the military and civilian rescuers at the crash site. We express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the KAL pilot(s) who managed to avoid the populated centers on Guam.


Korean Jumbo Jet Liner Flight 801 Boeing 747-300 enroute from Seoul, Korea crashed on Nimitz Hill (at the edge of Mt. Macajna and the Sasa Valley), in the center of Guam at 1:42am 6aug97 in the jungle area next to a navigational radio beacon site called the VORTAC.

According to the Pacific Daily News, 20March98, The plane was being flown by autopilot and someone in the cockpit said several times that the airport "is not in sight." Neither the copilot nor the flight engineer spoke out boldly, as trained, to alert the captain or even urge breaking off the landing.

The crew were informed four minutes before the crash that the ground-based glideslope landing system was not working, according to flight cockpit recordings. On the flight recorder, one of the three flight crew members, asked if the glide slope was working. The co-pilot replied that it was "not usuable."

One of the crew then said: "The glide slope is incorrect." But about a minute later, the pilot asked "Isn't the glide slope working?" The jet's computerized warning system then called out an altitude of "one thousand" when the plane would have been a 1,440 feet above sea level. Then it counted 500 feet. After cockpit alarms sounded, the captain cut off the autopilot and prepared to pull up.

Just seconds before the crash at 1:42a.m., the last words heard were "go around," meaning pull up and try anohter approach. Shortly after, the mechanical voice counted down to 20 feet followed by the sound of the impact.

The plane with its landing gear lowered, snapped some pine trees and smashed an oil fuel pipeline spilling 500 gallons of oil which feeds the Tanguisson Power Plant. 2,100 foot-long tire and wing marks in the landscape were dug before the plane finally running into the hillside. The spill was contained, but heavy rains might carry the oil into the Lonfit or Fonte Rivers. Korean Air 801 became the 14th Asian aircraft in the last 10 months to go down. National Transportation Safety Board Member George Black said pilots had to maneuver with poor visibility in heavy rains during their approach. The crew relied on a "localizer" at the end of the runway to determine by radio signal how far they were from the runway. Airport tower officials did not call for help until about 25 minutes after the crash, according to Guam Fire Department documents. "The airport tower allowed time for the airplane for a missed approach," said George Black, "When the plane did not land, they became concerned." There were 254 people on the plane, 23 crew members, 225 adults, 3 children and 3 babies. Fifteen of the people were American citizens.

Transcripts released on Dec 23 1998 by the Federal Aviation Administration confirm that neither the airport's inoperable navigational aid nor directions given by air traffic controllers contributed to the crash. The documents also confirm that no mechanical failures on the plane were reported before it crashed. The Safety Board will not release a final report, detailing the cause of the crash until later in 1998. Willis Cannon Jr, a former manager for the FAA's Guam Center Radar Approach Control at Andersen Air force Base, said pilot error is the only possible cause of the crash because all other possible scenerio have been ruled out.

A Mar 1998 testimony in Hawaii also focused on the Federal Aviation Administration's low altitude waring system on Guam, which the NTSB said was not operating as designed at the time of the crash. Had it been working, the system could have given the aircraft sufficient warning to raise its altitutd in time to avoid the hillside. The aircraft had its own ground proximity warning system as well, but it did not signal an alert until moments before the crash. But U.S. and Korean sources speculated that the black box will likely reveal a lost, confused crew that apparently did not follow its training [Pacific Daily News Friday 20mar1998]. Many of the questions at National Transportation Safety Board hearings on March 1998 touched on weather the crew trusted too much in automation and whether the copilot and flight engineer deferred too much to the captain.

Officials of the brand-new Guam International Airport said that before the crash of Korean Air Flight 801, there had been no major air disasters on the island in 20 years. Heavy rain and the absence of lights in the Nimitz Hill area could have contributed to the tragic fate of Korean Air Flight 801, federal investigators said. Joe Murphy, editor emeritus of the Guam Daily News, wrote that the 747 was mechanically sound. The KAL captain was an experienced pilot with over 8,700 hours of flight time, including 4,800 in jumbo jets. This particular jet was formerly used as a presidential transport for Korea. The Guam crash was the 12th total loss the airline has suffered in 30 years.

The plane broke into 4 pieces, with the tail section still intact, with most survivors coming from the tail and first-class areas of the aircraft. An inferno erupted at the center of the plane causing 2 explosions, but no residence in the area were affected. New Zealand helicopter pilot Barry Small who was also a survivor reportedly stated a year later on July 30, 1998 that between the initial impact and leaving the plane he "saw a fire initiate within the aircraft fuselage involving alcohol from smashed duty-free spirit bottles coming free from overhead lockers and oxygen flowing from the ruptured aircraft supply lines."

An inquiry in 1998 by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority found "It would appear that a flame originating from misted alcohol was most likely present in the aircraft interior prior to the main fire which subsequently destroyed the aircraft but was not materially fed by the internal aircraft oxygen system." The Authority said that the fire outside the plane began after the right wing separated from the fuselage. "As the fuselage had peeled back and split, flame (or heat) could have entered the cabin through the rents in the fuselage walls, and ignited the vapors present." One of the first rescue people at the site was the Andersen Air Force Base Triage team. Governor Gutierrez, who arrived at the site with local officers before the rescuers, assisted the rescue and later discovered and accompanied an 11 year old Japanese girl, Rika Matsuda, with facial contusions to the Guam Memorial Hospital. The girl was ordered by her trapped mother away from the wreck. The Mother, Sung Yeo Cho was burned alive . The poignant moment was very difficult for the child as she painfully told her father the sad news over a long distance call to Japan. "It broke my heart and soul to see that brave little girl act with a maturity beyond her years, as she made that phone call to her father", Guam's First Lady said. A male survivor, Hong Hyun-suen, later told South Korea's KBS public TV station that "The whole thing seemed to pass in not more than three minutes, like a movie scene".

Flight 801 was regularly scheduled to leave the Korean capital using an AIRBUS 300 jet shortly after 8 P.M. and arrive at Guam at 1:25 am. However, since the flight was enroute to pickup athletes to compete in American Samoa, a 747-300 plane was sent instead. The black box on the plane, found in fair condition at 7:10am Aug 6th, was hand carried aboard Continental Micronesia at 8:36am and expected to arrive at 4pm in Honolulu. It was flown to Wash D.C. for inspection by the National Transportation Safety Board. Bodies were covered with white sheets and a line of volunteers moved the bodies from the area. A survivor, an aircraft mechanic, said there was no indication of a plane problem from the pilot until they crash. The area of the crash is in the midst of tall grass and slippery clay. It was raining and the visibility was low at the time of the crash.

The guam National Guard, the Sea Bees and many volunteers with bulldozers converged at the Nimitz Hill Crash Site to create paths to the crash site. During the Wednesday crash, Air Force and U.S. Navy personnel have pulled and sawed mangled bodies out of the wreckage, said George Black, head of the National Transportation Safety board team. Capt. Ken Uyehara, chief of services in the Air National Guard said, "Psychologically, it's pretty tough. I don't know if anybody can get used to seeing human remains." Guam Police Officer Raul Chargualaf with other Guam and military officers, began pulling screaming survivors from the wreckage. Rough terrain forced rescuers to strap survivors to stretchers, which were pulled up the slope with ropes to ambulances and Navy H-46 helicopters, from the HC-5 squadron.

NBC and ABC mistakenly reported on Thursday Aug 21 97 that more people aboard the jumbo jet could have been saved, but firefighters didn't try to extinguish blazes caused by the crash. According to Fire Chief Gil Reyes, "The fire was on the wing and a tire that was far away from the main fuselage where the passengers were." (SEE picture of wing above). The blaze posed no threat to the crash victims or the rescuers in the area. Early rescue efforts were delayed by a severed 12-inch metal fuel pipe which blocked access to the wreckage. After leaving their vehicles in from of the broken pipe, firefighters and other rescuers hiked through dense swordgrass to get to the crash victims.

A mortuary services group arrived on Aug 7 Thursday and the FBI has sent fingerprint experts to identify bodies. A temporary morgue was established earlier at the U.S. navy Supply Center. A team of cadaver dogs were brought in from the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force in Puget Sound, Wash., to do a final search of the crash site two weeks after the crash. Additionally, the South Korean Civil Aviation Bureau is also participating in the investigation according to George Black.

On the night of August 6th, Rear Adm. Martin Janczak, Commander, U.S. Naval forces Marianas, declared "We are absolutely sure that there are no additional survivors" than the 32 people which were transferred to the Naval Regional Hospital and Guam Memorial Hospital (2 of them later died on the way to Naval Hospital, 1 died at the Naval Hospital and 1 died at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas).

Families of the victims, hysterically mourned as 160 family members arrived on Guam 3am Aug 7th and met by the Governor and staff. A small group of Korean parliamentarians came to mourn a colleague, lawmaker Shi Ki-ha, who died in the blaze. Shin Ki-ha was a four-term lawmaker and former parliamentary leader of the main opposition National Congress for New Politics. He was traveling with his wife and 20 party members. By Aug 10th 235 family members and 130 local family members of the crash victims and have visited the crash site from a distance. The area is still cordoned off during the investigation but the main throughfare call Route 6 has been opened to allow public traffic. On Aug 23, Saturday, more than 200 relatives gathered along Route 6 and prayed for their loved ones during memorial services which brought a sense of closure to many families. Korean Air Spokesman S.W. Kim said that in Korea, there is no sense of closure until some physical remains of the dead are laid to rest. Nan Tannenbaum, a disaster mental health coordinator with the American Red Cross said the families of Flight 801 victims were given a box that contained soil and ashes from the crash site.

Hundreds of family members remain on Guam and spend most of their days at the Pacific Star Hotel, where volunteers help them with the painful process of locating, identifying, and gathering their dead to take them home. Phone lines in the crisis control area allow the families to relay updates to others in Seoul, South Korea. Counselors consoled rescue workers as well as the families of victims of the Korean Air jet crash.

On Aug 13, 1997 the about 50 family members staged a sit-in at the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Air Terminal to protest the handling of the bodies. Officials arranged to send 12 bodies home to South Korea but the families thought that only nine were supposed to be sent. "If there had been any inadvertent mistakes that our people had committed in the handling of the remains... I deeply apologize for that," Gov. Carl Gutierrez told the protestors yesterday. Navy Cmdr. Glen King also apologized on behalf of the federal agencies that have participated in the investigation and recovery efforts. "We are trying much harder to get their loved ones to them," King said.

Post Crash Recovery

A medivac flight transported 8 crash patient to Seoul, Korea at 10pm Aug 7th 1997 Guam time. A medical team from Yokosuka, Japan escorted the patients to the University Hospital in Seoul, Korea. All 8 crash patients were from Naval Hospital and had minor to medium burns. By 8/10/97, all Guam Memorial Hospital crash victims were medivaced out of Guam. A patient 8/9/97, and 1 was medivaced 8/10/97 to Brooks Army Medical Center in Texas. The rest of the GMH patients were medivaced to Seoul, Korea. From Naval Hospital, 4 patients (3 local residents and 1 New Zealander) remained hospitalized. Three additional seriously burned patients were medivaced to Brooks Army Medical Center. Their names are HAN Gyu Hee (also listed as Han Kyu-Hee), Jung Young Hak (also listed as Jun, Young Hak or Chung Yong-hak), Chung Grace. All three passed away within weeks of arriving at Brooks.

Sunday evening Aug 10th 5:10pm Texas time, Grace Chung, who was severely burned on 50 to 60 percent of her face died at the Brooke Army Medical Center Institute of Surgical Research Burn Ward. She was a former patient of Guam Memorial Hospital. Chung's mother, Hsi Li Ming, older sister Chung Shin Y and a brother Yuan Tai Chung were also killed in the crash. Another victim, Ben Hsu, 15, of Riverside, California was memorialized by Buddhist monks at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights before the announcement of Chung's death late Sunday.

On 3sep97, Chung Yong-hak, 40 a former GMN patient, also died at the Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Korean ministry officials said that his blood pressure suddenly dropped. On 30aug97, Han Kyu-hee, a Korean Air Flight Attendent and transfer patient from Naval hospital, age 26, also died at Brooks.

On Aug 14th (guam time) The South Korean government sent five forensic experts to help identify the bodies of people killed in the crashed. As of 8/29/97 a total of 203 bodies were recovered 93 were positively identified. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola said on Aug 23, that some human remains must undergo DNA testing. That time-consuming analysis could take as long as a year to complete according to NTSB. Due to the extreme heat of the crash, there was speculation that not all victims will not be accounted for.

Memorial services and rosarys were held throughout the island. The first memorial service was conducted by the Archdiocese of Agana Basilica at 6pm Aug 6th by Rev. David Quitugua. A private Buddist ceremony for family members of Flt 801 was held on Fri Aug 8th at 4pm. A non-demominational prayer service at the Korean Presbyterian Church in Barrigada Heights was held on Sunday 5pm Aug 10th.

In an interview with the PACIFIC DAILY NEWS, Capt. Mary Humphreys-Sprague, chief of staff for the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Marianas said that recovery teams were able to move all visible bodies and dismembered human parts from the crash site by midday August 10th Sunday. There are hundred of human remains which are unidentifiable. Erle Keller, a 19 year old seaman recruit from the Naval Ship Hawthorne said, "It got hard when we started pulling out children - seeing all the little backpacks, cartoons. I think about my nieces and nephews -- I was pulling out bodies the same age."

George W. Black, head of the National Transportation Safety Board team, told NBC's Today that the plane appears to have flown into a hill, a process known as "controlled flight into terrain". This means that the pilot may not have known anything was wrong at the moment the plane crashed. The NTSB arrived on August 7, 1997 with 18 investigators who will be broken up into various investigation groups. They scrutinized the pilot action, training, weather, study and survey the debris on scene. For a month, the glide slope was shut down by the FAA for a $425,000 maintenance work. More than 1,500 successful landings had been executed on Guam without a glide slope the month before the crash. The glide slope is a radio beam that guides pilots in controlling altitude during landing. Another equipment, the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning system had a software error. This safety device was supposed to moniter planes within a 6.5 mile radius of the runway. Under normal operation it permitted the control tower to predict 15 seconds in advance if a plane is flying too low by sounding a control tower alarm. The system should have been monitering the area starting from the airport to 6 miles out, said safety board spokesman Paul Schlamm. Instead, it was monitering planes in a one-mile ring 55 miles out away from the airport. The Altitude system was maintained by the FAA and is physically located north of the airport at Andersen Air Force Base. Without these backup devices, pilots must rely more on experience and on-board systems to land. Absence of these devices were not the cause of the crash. Gov. Gutierrez on Aug. 13th 1997, called upon Congress and the Inspector General of the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the status of FAA equipment on Guam.

On August 23, 1997 Saturday (Guam Time), ABC reported that the Flight 801's pilots rushed their preparations for landing and miscalculated their descent to the runway at the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Air Terminal. One pilot called for a "go around," or missed approached, just before the Korean Air jetliner crashed, according to the ABC report.

Black said the team has found no evidence of structural or systems failure in the aircraft. "There was mud in the engines ... This indicates the engines were still running (when the plane crashed)," Black said. The National Transportation Safety Board on-site investigation team left Guam Wed night Aug 13, 1997 to continue its studies at Washington D.C. "Ti's too early to form any sorts of conclusions. We don't know why it happened", said George Black. It will be months or up to a year before NTSB determines why Flight 801 from Seoul crashed 3 miles short of the runway of the Tiyan airport called Antonio Won Pat International.

Consequences of Crash

According to, errors in low-altitude warning software used by the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning systems at two U.S. airports were discovered and corrected after the FAA ordered nationwide testing of the systems after the KAL crash. Problems were uncovered in Fayetteville, N.C. and Florence, S.C., the FAA announced on Aug 15 97 (mainland date). In addition, the software at the Aspen/Pitkin, Colo., airport isn't being used because of a large number of false alarms. Another 191 systems were found to work properly.

Korean Air Guam Night Flights to be Halted

Korean Air was operating 13 flights per week to Guam that originated in Seoul and Pusan; 10 of those were night flights. After the crash, {Associated Press reported that} the Korean Air President spoke at a parliamentary hearing in Seoul and said that Guam night flights would be suspended until the cause of the crash near Nimitz Hill would be determined. This announcement was only a prelude to the final announcement in October 1st 1997 of a complete pullout of Korean Air from Guam up until March 28 1998. Another Korean Airline, Asiana Air has halted flights into Guam until Sept 12th when FAA will press back into service the Glide Slope device {the Glide Slope was actually fixed on Aug 31st}.

Memorial Planned for KAL Crash Site

On August 29, 1997, Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez began coordinating plans with the Korean Government for a memorial to be constructed at the site of the tragic Korean Air disaster. The governor wants the familes of the victims and the victims to know their loved ones and the tragedy surrounding their untimely deaths will not soon be forgotten.

The Guam Visitors Bureau, in sympathy with the grieving Korean people over the Korean Air Flight 801 tragedy, will repect the tradional Korean period of mourning before wooing back Korean tourists. GVB General Manager James Nelson acknowledges that the crash caused much damage to the image of Guam, with GVB losing whatever headway it gained in the past. Nelson said the Korean market will shrink within the next 12 months. A 13 member tour and travel agents association have reported cancellations translating from up to 3000 people no longer coming to Guam per week. The Korean tourist market made up of family and honeymoon vacationers is the second largest tourist market to Guam, topped only by Japan.

Korean Airline: 1-800-771-2611 Passenger information Hotline
Korean Airlines Information Number (Guam) (671)-647-2408 or (671)-647-2489
Governor's Office Information Hotline (671)-475-9300

Vital Information from Nimitz Hill Crash Area:

  • 228 Fatalities with an additional 23 individuals unaccounted.
  • 26 of original 32 survivors are still alive. 3 died at the Naval hosp.
  • 3 died at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.
  • Guam Naval Hospital. Phone: (671)-344-9340
  • Guam Memorial Hospital. Phone: 647-2444/2330/2552

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