The Worst, but Not the First

In the past 30 years, attacks on civilian airliners have been rare. The Soviets, however, seem to have a quick trigger. Last week's incident marked the second time in just five years that Soviet fighters have shot down a passenger jet. In 1978, Korean Air Lines (KAL) Flight 902 with 110 passengers and crew on board was cruising routinely from Paris to Seoul when navigational equipment apparently malfunctioned. Disoriented, the pilot veered 180° off course and penetrated Soviet airspace near Murmansk, above the Arctic Circle. For two hours the jet flew serenely...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!