Yes. Airplanes are super cool. Why, you ask? Well, they fly now, don’t they! That’s what they do, they embody the eternal human dream of soaring the sky and scaling the clouds. We live in the world where reaching the opposite corner of the world is neither impossible nor improbable. We are getting used to the idea of plane hopping now. On one hand we have people who take to planes like duck to water, and on the other end we have the cats and water deal. We all have those people around us who are scared of planes. They may sound wimpy now but do not dismiss their fears without due consideration. Before you defend planes and get into the statistics, take a look at some freaky things that happens in air. Also if you are a mystery buff, you will discover that airline disappearances have created one of the juiciest mysteries of the world.
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
This is the most popular poster child for “Mischievous Disappearance”. What happened? God Knows, probably. As the list proceeds, you will notice that this one happened in the most technologically advanced era. Carrying 227 passengers from 15 nations apart from 12 flight crew members, the flight took off on 8th March 2014 from Kuala-Lumpur International airport for Beijing Capital International Airport. It never made it to China. After one Year of Intense search by the entire world, the incidence was declared an accident. The age of technology was stumped, right and proper.
- BSAA: Star Ariel and Star Tiger.
Year : 1948, 1949.
First incident took place on 30th January 1948 when Star Tiger of British South America Airlines took off from England to Bermuda. The refuel location was Azores which was very regular. The flight took off from Azores and then Puff! Maybe Houdini was around.
Next case was on 17th January 1949. The travel route was from Bermuda for Kingston, Jamaica. The takeoff was very normal. Captain McPhee did the routine check and went kaput. Even after a search party of 70 aircrafts, many ships and man power of over 13,000 no debris, oil spill, wreckage or any clue of human remains was found. , till date.
- Star dust
Though this was a product of BSAA i.e. British South American Airlines, it deserves a special mention. It precedes the two BSAA accidents i.e. Star Ariel and Star Tiger. The Star Dust took off on 2nd August 1947 from Buenos Aries, Argentina to Santiago, Chile. The unique mischief here is that in the Year 2000, after 50 years the world solved the cause of disappearance. It is now known that the plane crashed into Argentine mountain. We have yet not solved the last message that was transmitted by the pilot twice, STENDEC. This is now accepted to be a miscommunication in Morse code transmission. But one wonders, what was the Pilot trying to tell the world!
- Flight 19.
This one is in an altogether different league of disappearance. There were not one but five planes that went missing. They were not operated by commercial pilots nor were they meant to ferry people. This was the Brass. A pack of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers belonging to the United States Navy disappeared over the Bermuda triangle. They were experienced and skilled pilots who were suddenly lost, never to be heard of again. The theory range from on air explosion to loss of fuel, no one lived to tell the tale. There was no trace of anything to look for the answers. A rescue plan which went in after them to find them met the similar fate. It simply dropped off the Radar.
- Egypt Air flight 990.
This is a fishy one. The hard facts are a flight took off from L A, USA and flew towards Cairo international Airport after a layover in NYC. While flying over the Atlantic Ocean, the plane crashed into the ocean. All 203 passengers and 14 crew members didn’t make it. The Egyptian maintains technical error as the reason. The American National transportation safety board says Suicidal Pilot took all the 217 lives including his own. Though Egypt staunchly denies this, the recorded on flight conversation has the crew member from co-pilot’s seat murmuring ‘I made my decision now. I put my faith in God’s Hand”. What was it the, A depressed Pilot or a malfunctioned machine?
- Airline flight 191
Just like when the Hotels refuse to have a 13th floor, the number 666 can light that tiny dynamite of fear in many of us, the Aviation industry shields away from 191. There have been records showing that flights with number 191 always meet same end. Till date, five flights have crashed. In 1957, the worst Aviation accident of USA took place when the flight crashed moments after taking off from O’Hara International Airport Chicago. The flight was numbered 191, 258 passengers and 13 crew members were the victims. In 2012, A JetBlue pilot went crazy and went off into an impressive rant about Jesus, 9/11, terrorism etc. the crew and passengers subdued him and he was shifted to an asylum later. Yes it was JetBlue 191.
- Flying Tiger Line Flight 739.
This one was another seasoned aircraft going missing. The plane belonged to the US Military and was meant to transport supplies and Army members between California and Saigon, Vietnam. The plane re-fueled at Guam and took off. The weather was fine, the tank was full but the plane disappeared over the Philippines Sea, without a trace, No debris, no wreckage was ever found. Though the eyewitness says they saw a vapor trail, it is largely attributed to hindsight bias.
- Pan Am Flight 7.
On 8th November 1957, a luxurious flight with plans to circumnavigate the world took off from San Francisco. There were 36 passengers and 8 crew members. The first leg of the journey was Honolulu. It never made it to Hawaiian Island. The aircraft just disappeared for no good reason. The debris were located a week later towards Northeast of Honolulu. This was way off-course of the flight plan. Many of the bodies recovered had high level of Carbon monoxide in their systems. What and how of it is still a mystery.
- Aeroflot Flight 593
Kids do the dandiest of things. That is amusing in some places but lethal in a cockpit; this is the incident where Pilot’s 12 year old daughter and 16 year old Son were present in the cockpit. The report say that they unknowingly disengaged the autopilot‘s control over the ailerons while playing “pilot”. Without the crew and staff’s notice the plane began tilting. Before the pilots realized the issue, the plane was in a near vertical dive which took all 75 airborne humans to their graves.
- Amelia Earhart.
First women to fly solo across Atlantic, an accomplished pilot, an Icon and an adventurer, these adjectives defined the Braveheart. She flew never to return. Amelia Earhart holds many records in the Aviation industry. She wrote bestselling books about her passion of flying, she was a Faculty at Purdue University (Aviation dept.). And on a quest to circumnavigate the earth, in 1937, she flew over the Pacific Ocean never to come back. To this day, the world wonders, what, when and where did it all go so wrong?
Titbit: The Flight 19 gave birth to Bermuda triangle mystery. The Star Tiger and Star Ariel further solidified the ‘fishy’ triangle. Is it all about the Bermuda Triangle then? We might never know!