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China Airlines Flight 642 was a flight that flew from Old Bangkok International Airport (now Don Mueang International Airport) in Bangkok to Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong operated by China Airlines' subsidiary Mandarin Airlines. The flight was supposed to fly onward to Taipei after the stop at Hong Kong. Due to a severe weather situation at Hong Kong, the flight crew had prepared to divert the flight directly to Taipei if the situation at Hong Kong was deemed unsuitable for landing. However, approaching Hong Kong and after initial weather and wind check being passed from the airport, the crew believed that it could land there and thus decided against a diversion. Before the arrival of flight 642, four flights carried out missed approaches, five diverted and twelve landed successfully.

At about 6:43 P.M. on 22 August 1999, B-150, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11, was making its final approach when Typhoon Sam was 50km NE of the airport with maximum reported wind speeds of 140 kmh (85 mph). At an altitude of 700 feet prior to touchdown a further wind check was passed to the crew: 320deg28 knots gusting to 36 knots. It should be noted that maximum crosswind component limit for the aircraft was 24 knots. However, the crew neglected this and continued the landing. During the final flare to land, the plane banked on its right, landed hard on its right main gear and the no.3 engine touched the runway. The right main gear and the right wing separated. The plane rolled upside down and skidded off the runway in flames. When it stopped, it was on its back and the rear of the plane was on fire, coming to rest on a grass area next to the runway, 1100 m from the runway threshold. The right wing was found on a taxiway 90 m from the nose of the plane. As shown in photos of the aircraft at rest, the fire caused significant damage to the rear section of the aircraft but was quickly extinguished due to the heavy rain and quick response from rescue teams in the airport.

Three of the 300 passengers died; all crew members survived.

The final report of the accident blamed it mainly on pilot error.