Top 5 Mysterious Airline Crashes
Airplanes are one of the safest forms of travel around but accidents do happen in forms such as mid-air collisions, terrorist hijacking, or technical malfunctions. From all these disasters nothing is more unsettling than those which are unsolved. Disappearances of airliners do occur. Due to severe electrical storms combined with electronic malfunctions, an airplane will disappear from ground radars, communications lost, and in the end the downed airplane will never be discovered along with the specific cause and reason for the accident. Here are some of the most mysterious airplane incidents of all time.
5. Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a Lockheed L1049
Flying Tigers Line Flight 739 was a Lockheed L-1049H used by the US military during the Vietnam War. On March 15, 1962 it disappeared over the western Pacific Ocean. It was carrying 96 U.S. soldiers en route to Saigon, Vietnam to combat communist guerillas. All 107 onboard died presumably crashing at sea. No cause was identified.
4. Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501, a Douglas DC-4
June 24, 1950, Northwest Orient Flight 2501 with 58 people on board was flying high over Lake Michigan on it’s typical journey from Seattle to New York city. At 3,500ft the pilots saw a large storm ahead. They radioed for clearance to drop to 2,500ft altitude, but this was denied due to the heavy traffic at this height. Unfortunately, all contact with this plane was lost. The plane was never recovered and no bodies were found. At the time this was the worst aviation disaster in America.
3. Malaysia Airlines Flight 653, a Boeing 737
On 4 December 1977 Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 was on flight from Kuala Lampur to Singapore. With 100 individuals on board comfortably traveling to their destination, a hijacking occurred. At 19:54 a radio call was made by the pilot reporting the hijacking. After this, the pilot radioed stating they were still en route to Singapore. The mystery begins here: only 20 minutes later before anyone understood who these hijackers were or why they had hijacked the airplane, the plane crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johor, Malaysia killing everyone. People on the ground reported that the airplane was almost fully vertical when it nose dived into the earth. No bodies were recovered.
2. Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727
This story is a bit different. This time it wasn’t an airplane that disappeared, it was a man, who hijacked a plane, held everyone for ransom, parachuted out of the airliner to escape and disappear. His name was Dan Cooper, an average white man traveling from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. The date was November 24, 1971. Sitting at the back of the plane, he handed a note to a female flight attendant. At first she thought he was giving her his phone number so she just slid it into her pocket without looking at it. This is when he said, “Miss, you’d better look at that note. I have a bomb.” A communiqué was established and Cooper made his demands: He wanted $200,000 and 4 parachutes for the release of all passengers except for the piloting crew upon arrival to Seattle. The FBI contacted the president of Northwest Airlines and the president, not wanting a disaster on his hands, decided to meet the hijacker’s demands. After they landed everything went smoothly. They refueled and took off. The hijackers plan was to fly to Mexico City, but then decided on Reno, Nevada to refuel. On the way Cooper asked to unpressurize the cabin and, over the southwest part of Washington at 10,000ft, Cooper leaped from the plan never to be found again.
1. Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330-203
Most recent is the Air France Flight 447 which was flying from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. It was May 31, 2009 when the plane took off at 19:03 local time. Six and a half hours later the last contact was made when the crew sent a routine message to Brazilian air traffic controllers. Forty minutes later a multitude of automated messages were received indicating problems with the airplane. These messages are still under investigation. A report was released indicating that some of the messages concerned navigation auto-flight, flight controls, and cabin air-handling issues. All this occurred as they flew through a severe electrical storm. Some debris has been found along with numerous bodies. The exact cause is still a mystery as they continue to search for clues and the airplane’s black box. 228 lives were lost.