August 18, 2022

10 Famous missing airplanes

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Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH370By Angela Tempest from CMV live

PHOTO: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

1. Amelia Earhart

Everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart and her disappearance in 1937 right? In case you haven’t, here’s the tale. She was the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo, for which she was awarded the US Distinguished Flying Cross. She also broke other records and wrote books about her experiences. She also helped formed the Ninety-Nines, an organisation for female pilots.

In 1937, she set off on a round-the-world flight. She embarked from Oakland in California on 20th May and after a number of stops, reached Lae, Papua New Guinea on June 29th and left headed for Howland Island on July 2nd. She never arrived at her destination. Earhart and her Lockheed Model 10 Electra plane were never seen again. Theories as to what happened to her were hugely varied from returning to the States and assuming a new life under another name to being a spy who was killed by the Japanese.


2. Glenn Miller

Miller is another name that a lot of people will have heard of. He was a famous big band musician, composer and band leader from the swing era and a best selling artist from 1939-1943. Some of his most famous songs were ‘In the Mood’ and ‘Moonlight Serenade’.

He was also a pilot and the day of his disappearance was planning to fly from England to France to play for soldiers stationed there during World War II. He was flying a single engine UC-64 Norseman and left RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedford, on December 15th, 1944. Miller, nor a trace of his plane, has even been discovered.

As with Amelia Earhart, theories abound about what happened to the musician. Some said he was a victim of friendly fire, shot down by Lancaster bombers who had to jettison bombs before returning home to land. Another theory claimed Miller was shot down accidentally by a gun battery at Folkstone, England. But the truth may never be known.


3. Flight 19

Flight 19 was actually five planes, TBM Avenger Torpedo bombers, who vanished over the infamous Bermuda Triangle on 5th December 1945. They had departed from the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida with 14 airmen on board, none of whom were ever found.

The general theory was that the planes had become disorientated somehow and had ditched into the ocean after running out of fuel. But no wreckage was ever found. Adding to the mystery, a 13 crew PBM Mariner flying boat involved in the search for the planes also went missing, assumed to have exploded in mid-air.


4. Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501

Flight 2501 was a DC-4 propliner which went missing at an altitude of 3500 feet over Lake Michigan, 18 miles north-west of Benton Harbour. The plane ran a regular route from New York City to Seattle and disappeared on the night of 23rd June 1950.

The plane had requested a descent to 2500 feet but abruptly vanished from the radar. Searches were carried out with sonar as well as dragging the bottom of the lake from trawlers, but nothing was found. Some light debris, upholstery and some human remains were found but never the whole of the wreckage. 55 passengers and three crew were on board, and the loss of 58 people was the deadliest commercial airliner accident at that time.


5. Cessna 310

October 16th, 1972 saw House of Representatives member Nick Begich on board a Cessna 310 with House Majority Leader Hale Boggs from Louisiana. They were travelling from Anchorage to Juneau with Begich’s aide Russell Brown and were flown by pilot Don Jonz.

The plane disappeared which led to a 39 day search by the US Coast Guard, US Navy and Air Force, without success. Neither the plane nor the four men were ever seen again. Their disappearance led to Congress passing a law to state that all civil aircraft had to have emergency locator transmitters.


6. Frederick Valentich

Another who reads a few paranormal blogs may have heard of the Valentich disappearance. This was a 20 year old pilot in a Cessna 182L light aircraft who disappeared over the Bass Strait in Australia on 21st October 1978.

Valentich was a UFO fan who had radioed into Melbourne air traffic control to state he was being followed by an aircraft around 1000 feet above him and at the same time, was having trouble with his engine. His final report stated “It’s not an aircraft.”

Searches for the missing pilot went on until the 25th October, by which time searchers had covered 1000 square miles but nothing was found. The Department of Transport concluded the plane had crashed and was ‘presumed fatal’ for Valentich.

Five years later a piece of wreckage was found at Flinders Island. It was concluded it may have come from the missing Cessna and some of the serial numbers on the piece did match partially that of Valentich’s plane. But nothing further has been found.


7. Ian Mackintosh

Ian Mackintosh MBE was a Scottish naval officer as well as a thriller writer and screenwriter for TV. He published novels from 1967-1970 and worked in TV writing shows such as Warship, Wilde Alliance and The Sandbaggers.

In July 1979, he was flying over the Gulf of Alaska with a friend, Graham Barber and his girlfriend Susan Insole, when he sent a distress signal. The US Coast Guard responded to the signal and searched the last known location, but no wreckage was found. Nor has any wreckage been found since.


8. Boeing 727-223

The disappearance of the Boeing 727 N844AA from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Luanda, Angola on 25th May 2003 was attributed to just one man, though a worldwide search by the FBI and CIA have never been able to confirm it.

The plane was empty and sat on the runway, and the only person believed to have been aboard was Ben Charles Padilla, an aircraft mechanic, flight engineer as well as a private pilot. He has never been seen or heard of since. The plane started off down the runway with the control tower trying to make contact, but they received no response. The tracking transponder was turned off, and no trace of the place was ever found.


9. Air France Flight 447

Flight 447 was an Airbus A330 plane which took off from Rio de Janiero on 1st June 2009 and crashed around 2:10UTC into the Atlantic Ocean. It was the deadliest crash Air France has ever experienced and only the second, and the worst, crash by an A330. 216 passengers and 12 crew were lost with no survivors.

The major wreckage from the accident was found within five days of the accident, but it took nearly two years to find the black box from the plane. This meant that until this was recovered, no-one really knew what had caused the accident. In the end, authorities concluded that ice crystals caused the autopilot to disconnect, causing mistakes from the crew and an aerodynamic stall which sent the plane crashing into the ocean.


10. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The story so far of the missing Malaysian flight is sadly well known. In case you have somehow missed it, here’s a brief summary of the facts known the flight left Kuala Lumpur on 8th March 2014 headed to Beijing. The plane was a Boeing 777 with 227 passengers and 12 crew. Just over an hour into the flight, air traffic control lost contact with the plane, so a search and rescue effort was launched.

The initial search area was the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea and was later said to be one of the largest in history. The Straits of Malacca and the Andaman Sea were the next areas to be covered, but still with no success. By the 15th, investigators went over the Malay Peninsula without success while the following day, satellite images seemed to show debris in the Indian Ocean.

At the time of writing, more debris has been investigated without success and despite authorities stating the plane has been lost, no concrete evidence of this has yet been found.

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