View Full Version : Airliner encounters with radioactive bomb debris

3rd Mar 2010, 23:19
I have a vague recollection that back in about 1961 there were instances of DC-7 Anchorage to Copenhagen polar flights (perhaps by SAS) that encountered radioactive bomb debris from Soviet atmospheric tests. Those aircraft, if I remember remember properly, required significant decontamination after those flights. I have been unable to find independent confirmation of my recollection and I wonder if PPuNers could help my memory

Double Zero
7th Mar 2010, 14:18
The obvious question is, how did anyone know the aircraft were contaminated ?

Was it a case that such testing was relatively common yet obviously not at advertised times for the West, explaining a team with geiger-counters whatever being handy ?

I realise we live in different times now, but I shouldn't think any passengers or indeed crew would be too chuffed at being routed in such a place, if no alternative then I suppose abandoning the route would be a form of blockade acceptance.

OR did the aircraft ' just happen ' to be carrying sensors of the monitoring & intel' kind ?

It's not exactly unheard of to use airliners -some perhaps most full of innocent passengers - for intel' purposes, I know an (ex ) RAF photographer who at around that time would be a ' passenger invited to see the flight deck ', where he would don overalls & ( large hand-held )camera to film underneath the aircraft as it ' got lost '...

One of the possible results of such practices being the shooting down of the Korean Airways 747 when it strayed - and why is still a little hazy AFAIK - near the very sensitive Kwajaleen ( sp' ? ) Peninsula a while ago.