As unthinkable as shooting down an airliner with hundreds of passengers is, it has happened before. Among the most notable cases in recent decades were an Iranian plane shot down by the US Navy and a South Korean airliner destroyed by a Russian fighter jet.
► Oct. 4, 2001: An errant surface-to-air missile fired by the Ukrainian military during exercises in Crimea caused the crash of an Air Siberia airliner en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk. All 78 people on board were killed.
► Oct. 20, 1998: Rebels in eastern Congo shot down a Congo Airlines passenger jet carrying 40 people.
► Sept. 22, 1993: Abkhazian rebels in Georgia shot down a passenger plane, killing 80.
► July 3, 1988: US warship Vincennes shot down an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf, mistaking it for a threatening warplane. All 290 people aboard are killed.
► April 10, 1988: Afghan guerrillas shot down a Soviet-built passenger jet, killing all 29 people aboard.
► Sept. 1, 1983: A Soviet fighter jet shot down a Korean Air Lines passenger jet en route from New York to Seoul, purportedly mistaking the craft for a spy plane. All 269 people aboard were killed.
► April 20, 1978: An off-course South Korean jetliner with 110 people was attacked by a Soviet MiG fighter and forced to crash land on a frozen lake near Murmansk, killing two passengers.
► Feb. 21, 1973: Libyan Airlines Flight 114 en route from Tripoli to Cairo went off course, crossing the Suez Canal into airspace over the Israeli-held Sinai Desert. Israel said the plane refused to identify itself and two Air Force Phantom jets fired at it. The aircraft went out of control and crashed, killing 108 people.
SOURCE: Associated Press