Pan Am Flight 845

Pan Am Flight 845 was a Boeing 747-121, registration N747PA, operating as a scheduled international passenger flight between Los Angeles, CA and Tokyo, with an intermediate stop at San Francisco International Airport. On July 30, 1971, at 15:29 PDT, while taking off from San Francisco bound for Tokyo, the aircraft struck approach lighting system structures located past the end of the runway, seriously injuring two passengers and sustaining significant damage.

After maintaining B-17’s in WWII, Dick Edwards worked with United Air Lines at LaGuardia, Idlewild, O’hare and Midway. N747PA is seen here inside a United Air Lines hanger at San Francisco Airport. Since this was an intermediate stop for Pan Am, they did not have the personnel or equipment to inspect and fix the damage. United Air Lines was sourced and Dick Edwards was sent from O’hare to San Francisco to help with the fix. Dick Edwards would later join the FAA as an investigator.

The Landing can bee seen in this Investigative Report Video

Play Video

Subsequent to the accident, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service. N747PA was re-registered and leased to Air Zaire as N747QC from 1973 until March 1975, when returned to Pan Am, where it was renamed Clipper Sea Lark, and then Clipper Juan T. Trippe in honor of the airline’s founder. It remained with Pan Am until the airline ceased operations in 1991, and was transferred to Aerolíneas Argentinas, then briefly to Kabo Air of Nigeria, back to Aerolíneas, and was finally scrapped in 1999 in San Bernandino, California. The aircraft served as a restaurant in Hopyeong, Namyangju, South Korea for some time, until the restaurant closed down. The aircraft was scrapped for good in 2010 –

July 1971 Article from DAVE HUNT: Airways Classics No. 1 PAN AM c2003

Full hangar Photo taken by former United Air Lines Mechanic, Richard “Dick” Edwards
Photograph showing Damage:
Clint Groves Article “Tales from the Hanger” (complete article & additional photos here)


Share This

Leave a Reply