I don’t like flying. At all. I think about all the terrible things that could possibly happen while on air. And I imagine every bloody detail of how bad things could turn out. Some other times I just imagine that the plane goes missing, never to be found again. Like it happen to these 10 planes.
10 – Amelia Earhart’s disappearance
Amelia Earhart was an American aviator who set many flying records and championed the advancement of women in aviation. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and the first person ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. During a flight to circumnavigate the globe, Earhart disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in July 1937. Her plane wreckage was never found, and she was officially declared lost at sea.
9. Flight 19
The saga of Flight 19 remains as one of the most mysterious disappearances in Bermuda Triangle. Flight-19 was the code name for Five Avenger bomber planes that took off from the Naval base at Florida on 5th of December 1945, but never returned. U.S Navy’s final report mentioned “Reasons Unknown” when citing the cause of the incident. Thus Flight-19 also became known as The Lost Patrol.
8. The Flying Tiger
On March 16, 1962, the weather was as clear as the skies. The Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation was transporting 93 US soldiers and 3 South Vietnamese passengers from California to Vietnam. There were 11 crew members. No one from that flight was ever seen again. Eight minutes after the plane departed the Clark Air Base, the pilot radioed in his location and made no indication that anything was wrong aboard the plane. Future attempts to contact Flight 739 were met by radio silence and they were never heard from again.
The aircraft was declared missing that day, and an eight-day search for the missing flight ensued. Aircraft and ships from the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines were sent on the search. A total of 48 aircraft and 8 sea vessels were involved. In just the first two days, 75,000 square miles of the ocean were searched. By the end of the search, over 200,000 square miles were scoured for any wreckage, but nothing was found. The search was called off and all 107 aboard were assumed dead.
British South American Airways Lancastrian plane went missing on August 2, 1947, while finishing its final leg of a connecting flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago. Investigators and air-traffic control centers alike were mystified, as the last communication received by a Chilean Air Force operator was the cryptic message “STENDEC,” which was long believed to be mistyped. However, over 50 years later, in the late 1990s, pieces of wreckage began to emerge in the Andes Mountains, and in 2000 various body parts from the flight’s passengers were found, well-preserved by glacial ice. Despite the circulating rumors, ranging from alien abduction to Nazi spies and stolen gold, an in-depth investigation uncovered that inclement weather had caused the crash and determined that the most probable meaning of the strange communication was based on a WWII code, deciphered as “Severe Turbulence Encountered, Now Descending, Emergency Crash-landing.”
6. Star Ariel
Star Ariel was lost on January 17, 1949. Very little is known about what caused the loss of the British South American Airways (BSAA) aircraft and its 20 crew and passengers. Weather was excellent, visibility was good, and the pilots were experienced. The captain chose a high-altitude flight path to best take advantage of the excellent conditions. The flight was between Bermudaand Kingston, Jamaica.
Last contact with Star Ariel was made at 9:42 AM. Despite a large search operation headed by a US Navy task force, no traces of wreckage, fuel, debris, or bodies was ever found. As stated by the head of the inquiry tasked with finding a cause for the loss of the aircraft: “Through lack of evidence due to no wreckage having been found, the cause of the accident is unknown.
5. Transatlantic C-124 Flight
On the late afternoon of March 23, 1951, a US Air Force Douglas C-124 Globemaster II on its way to England ditched into the ocean. An explosion in the cargo hold and the ensuing fire forced the pilots to put the plane down in the Atlantic, a few hundred miles from Ireland. The exact location was radioed by the pilots, and the ditching itself was successful.
The 53 passengers and crew aboard the flight donned life preservers and climbed aboard well-equipped emergency rafts. A B-29 had already been en route with the intention of aiding the plane in its navigation to the nearest airfield. When it arrived at the location transmitted by the pilots, the crew of the B-29 observed the passengers and crew in their rafts. It seemed everyone was okay.
The B-29 then had to return to base, as it was running low on fuel. However, when rescue crews arrived, the plane and the stricken passengers had all disappeared without a trace. All that was left was a piece of charred plywood and a briefcase. Nobody knows what happened in those hours while help was on the way.
4. Frederick Valentich
On October 21, 1978, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared during a flight in his Cessna 182L. Frederick was widely described by friends and family as a “flying saucer enthusiast,” and during the doomed flight, he reported being accompanied by an unidentified aircraft.
As Frederick flew over the Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia, he radioed air traffic control just after 7:00 PM to report that he was being followed by an aircraft. Air traffic control responded, saying there was no known traffic nearby. Valentich described the aircraft as large and illuminated by four bright landing lights. It purportedly passed about 300 meters (1,000 ft) overhead and was moving at very high speed.
Finally, Frederick stated that the UFO was orbiting above him and had a shiny metal surface and a green light. Air traffic control asked him to identify the craft, to which Frederick responded, “It isn’t an aircraft,” before his transmission was interrupted by unidentified noise described as “metallic, scraping sounds.” Contact was lost at this point, and neither Valentich nor his plane were ever seen again.
3. 2016 Indian Air Force
On July 22, 2016, an Antonov An-32 twin-engine transport aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force disappeared while flying over the Bay of Bengal. There were 29 people on board at the time: 23 passengers and six crew members.
Radar contact was lost at 9:12 AM, and the ensuing search and rescue operation would become the largest in Indian history. Sixteen ships, a submarine, and six aircraft were deployed to aid in the search in and around the Bay of Bengal. On September 15, 2016, the mission was called off, and all aboard were presumed dead.
On May 25, 2003, a Boeing 727, registered as N844AA, was stolen from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Angola. Shortly before sunset, two men boarded the aircraft: American pilot Ben Padilla and mechanic John Mutantu. Neither were certified to fly the 727, which normally flies with a flight crew of three. It is believed that Padilla was the one at the controls. The aircraft made its way onto the runway without clearance and without communicating with the control tower. With its lights switched off and a few erratic maneuvers, the plane thundered down the runway and took off, heading southwest over the ocean.
Since then, neither the two men nor the aircraft have been seen. The disappearance of N844AA prompted a worldwide search by the FBI and the CIA. Despite this, no trace of the aircraft has ever been found.
Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China. A total of 227 passengers and 12 crew members were aboard the Boeing 777, and the most expensive search operation in aviation history ($130–160 million) failed to turn up any evidence of the large aircraft. Some small pieces of the wings have washed up on various islands since the crash as well as a damaged briefcase believed to be related to the incident. At present, however, the plane has not been found, and the cause of the crash is unknown.
Verbal communication with the aircraft’s two experienced pilots was lost at 1:19 AM. At 1:21 AM, the aircraft’s transponder ceased to function. The transponder allows the plane to be tracked on radar by air traffic control. Despite the lack of a functioning transponder, the plane was still tracked by military radar, turning right and then left at an erratic altitude. Once it had left the airspace trackable by Malaysian military radar, the aircraft automatically responded to hourly status update requests from a satellite communication system. Two phone calls to the cockpit at 2:39 AM and 7:13 AM went unanswered. The final status update, which took place at 8:10 AM (almost two hours after MH370 was meant to land in Beijing) was initiated by the aircraft, as opposed to the ground station.
There are only a few reasons the plane would initiate this communication itself: power failure, critical component failure, loss of altitude, or fuel exhaustion. (The latter is the most likely scenario.) The status update would be the last communication from MH370, before it is presumed to have crashed at high speed into the Indian Ocean.