10 aviation mysteries
Experts and the public alike are dumbfounded on how a Boeing 777 would disappear from the radar, without a distress call or any other clue that would help find it.
Apparently, this is not the first time that an airplane vanished into thin air. The following are 10 other aviation incidents that have remained a mystery:
1. Amelia Earhart
“Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart?” so goes the song “Someday We’ll Know.”
Perhaps a lot of people are already familiar with Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Five years later, she embarked on a round-the-world flight with her navigator Captain Fred Noonan. Reporting that they were running low on gas, they lost contact as they tried to reach Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.
2. Bermuda Triangle
The legend of the Bermuda Triangle started when the US Navy’s Flight 19, composed of five planes, disappeared in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. The pilots reportedly became disoriented and their compasses malfunctioned. Further adding to the mystery was the disappearance of a rescue plane sent later to search for the team.
3. Air France Flight 447
Often compared to the case of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the disappearance of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 also created a lot of speculation. Debris of the plane was first found five days after while the black box was discovered two years later. It was only then that the investigators found out that the plane crashed after the plane’s speed sensors failed to function, as well as pilot error. Air France, however, denied the findings.
4. Flying Tiger Flight 739
A US military chartered plane was on its way to Clark Air Base in the Philippines from Guam. The Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 disappeared over the West Pacific Ocean in clear weather. There was no distress call and the wreckage was never found. All 107 passengers were presumed dead.
5. Egyptair Flight 990
EgyptAir Flight 990 left New York on October 31, 1999 and was on its way to Cairo when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. While Egypt cited mechanical problems as a cause, the United States accused the co-pilot of being suicidal. Gamil el-Batouty, the plane’s co-pilot, was said to have told an airline executive who reprimanded him for misconduct, “This is the last flight for you too.”
6. Star Dust
The BSAA (British South American Airways) Star Dust disappeared during its flight from Argentina to Chile. It is often remembered for the cryptic morse code message “STENDEC” left by the radio operator. People speculated on its possible meanings, including alien encounters and sabotage. Its debris was found 50 years later on a mountain range.
7. Pan Am Flight 7
Pan Am Flight 7 was on an around-the-world flight that was on its way to Hawaii when it supposedly crashed. Almost a week after, a US Navy aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea found floating bodies and pieces of wreckage in the Pacific Ocean. The cause of the accident was never determined.
8. Twa Flight 800
TWA Flight 800 did not vanish into thin air but exploded 12 minutes after take-off from John F. Kennedy airport. With 230 people killed, authorities said the explosion was caused by defective wiring igniting the fuel supply. However, witnesses said they saw a streak of light headed towards the plane, leading people to believe that it was shot down by a missile.
9. Star Tiger-1948
STAR TIGER was one of the BSAA planes that disappeared on its way to Bermuda in 1948. It was blown off course and had enough fuel to reach Bermuda but it never landed.
10. Star Ariel-1949
BSAA STAR ARIEL was flying from Bermuda to Jamaica on Jan. 17, 1949. While the skies were clear from turbulence, it had poor reception and communication blackouts. It never reached its destination and while a large team searched for it, no signs of debris or oil slicks were found.
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