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Korean Air 221

Accident Case Study

The first reports on this mishap say: "The aircraft crashed immediately after takeoff as a result of a failure of the left engine. None of the six crew members and none of the 47 passengers was killed." Lost in all the reporting was an important question: was the aircraft de-iced?


Accident Report

  • 25 NOV 1989
  • Time: 07:48
  • Type: Fokker F-28 Fellowship 4000
  • Operator: Korean Air
  • Registration: HL7285
  • Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
  • Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 42
  • Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 48
  • Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
  • Location: Seoul-Kimpo International Airport (SEL) (South Korea)
  • Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
  • Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
  • Departure airport: Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport (SEL/RKSS), South Korea
  • Destination airport: Ulsan Airport (USN/RKPU), South Korea


Wing icing caused the no. 1 engine to lose power on take-off. Directional control was lost and the pilot aborted the takeoff. The aircraft overran the runway and caught fire.


The major reports say the cause was engine failure. Add to that ice on the wings and either attempting the takeoff without abort capability or poorly executing the abort.


Aviation Safety Network

Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives

Revision: 20120713