Korean Air Lines flight 902

A Boeing 707 shot down on 20 of April 1978 close to the Soviet-Finnish border after accidentally entering Soviet airspace, while en route from Paris to Seoul.

The aircraft was fired at by a Su-15 interceptor, using two R60 infrared missiles, one which missed the airliner, the other hitting the left wing, damaging it, jamming one engine, killing one passenger and injuring many others.

The pilot then successfully descended, and managed to land the crippled plane on a frozen lake, where hours later Soviet military personnel arrived to arrest the pilots and rescue the passengers, but not before one of the injured died from his wounds.

The Soviet Union never apologized for the incident, instead keeping the firm believe the Korean pilots purposely entered Soviet airspace, and even went as far as to charge Korea for the accommodations of the rescue passengers while arrangements were made to get them to Finland.

The pilots were tried and condemned, but the Soviets only forced them to apologize for their “deliberate act” before deporting them back to Korea.

Sukhoi Su-15, the Boeing Killer.


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