Airliners that have disappeared; 15 biggest aviation mysteries

Airliners that have disappeared without a trace, unexplained anomaly shrouded in mystery. Today we’re taking a look at the top 15 biggest aviation mysteries that are still unsolved.

#15 Air France flight 447

1 June 2009, Air France flight 447 took off from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on a journey to Paris, France, but just a few hours into the flight, it vanished off the radar. It had been above the Atlantic Ocean at the time, and as soon as air traffic control realized they had lost communication with the Airbus A330, it had other jets in the area to try to make contact. With this failed to0, authorities were forced to face the conclusion that something awful had happened to the flight, and the Brazilian navy was dispatched to try to find any debris and, more importantly, rescue any survivors.

Air France Flight 447 debris

There have been 216 passengers and 12 crew onboard from 33 different nationalities, all of whom perished in the incident. Five days after the flight went missing before the first large piece of wreckage in the first two bodies was recovered, it would be a further two years before the flight recorders were found and retrieved from the sea bed. According to the data recorded on the devices, the plane had stalled and was unable to recover before compacted into the water. Why this happened is still not fully known. According to the French investigation, there was an inconsistency between the planes’ true speed in the airspeed measurements. Something that caused the autopilot to disconnect, and then the flight crew made a series of errors that led to its demise. However, there are still questions around the record of events, with many believing that there must have been for the mechanical issues to lead to the stall. Officially, the investigation into what caused the deadliest disaster in Air France history is over, but there are still many questions to answer for many of the families involved.

#14 Indian Air Force AN-32

On 22 July 2016, Indian Air Force Antonov AN-32 took off from Cameron Air Force station in Chennai with 29 people aboard were traveling to port Blair, which is the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean. Just under 45 minutes after leaving the airport, when the plane was around 170 miles to the east of Chennai, radar contacted radio communication with the aircraft was lost without any warning.

There had been no emergency calls from the flight crew; the weather was nothing out of the ordinary, but the plane vanished without a trace. The Indian navy was sent to the last recorded position to find survivors or wreckage. The subsequent operation became the country’s largest search and rescue operation conducted on water that it ever been carried out. They scoured the area with 12 ships, five aircraft, and a submarine, but they couldn’t find anything .The jet had emergency locator beacons onboard which were transmitting. Still, it didn’t have an underwater locator beacon, suggesting it ended up in the water. Still, to this day, not even a small piece of debris from the flight has been found, so the 29 passengers are all presumed dead, or still no definitive answers.

#13 Aer Lingus flight 712

If you have ever taken a flight with the airline between Cork Ireland and London Heathrow airport, you may well have flown on 712. This is unusual; this airline tends to discontinue the flight numbers; when an accident happens, there was nothing unusual about what happened to flight 712 on 24 March 1968. the Vickers this count 803 left Cork airport on time at 10:32 in the morning. The weather forecaster predicted calm skies; within 20 minutes, they will call across the radio to air traffic control said 12000 feet descending spinning rapidly, and that’s the last anyone heard.

Photo: Geoff johnsons Band of Strangers.

The flight traveling in the opposite direction was asked to look out for the plane; when the pilot couldn’t see anything on full alert, the first search aircraft on scene were unable to find any trace of flight 712. it was only the following day when ships reached the area that the first bodies were recovered, even though most of the wreckage was retrieved from the water. It’s still a complete mystery what caused such a fatal event to occur. Of course, several theories were put forward, such as it happened because of a bird strike, resulted from poor maintenance, or a missile hit it due to its proximity to a missile testing facility. But each one of these theories has false they don’t line up with the evidence. It happened so long ago that we will probably never find out the truth, and it’ll remain a mystery forever.

#12 Flight 19

There are many rumors about mysterious places where aircraft disappear, with the most famous being the Bermuda triangle. Many of the stories told can be explained without resorting to mystical reasons. Still, there’s a reason why the region in the north Atlantic has become so renowned. In, a case from 1945 illustrated perfectly. Flight 19 was a designation that has been given to a group of 5 Grohman Avenger torpedo bombers who were conducting an overwater navigation training flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The aircraft for reliable on the 14 crew members across the five planes were experienced airman, and despite seeming to have gone off with a little, they had things under control. That was until the five planes just vanished; the last radio message that was heard said all planes close up tight; what did you must landfall. When they realize that an emergency was taking place, other aircraft and ships were alerted to launch a rescue mission. a PBM mariner flying boat was one of the planes sent to look with 13 crew onboard; it too vanished. Ships in the area reported seeing a colossal fire erupting from the water surface, which could quite well have been the flying boat; what happened to the original 5 Grumman Avengers still isn’t known to this day.

#11 EgyptAir flight 990

EgyptAir flight 990 used to be a route flown by the carrier between Los Angeles International Airport to Cairo by the New York. Halloween in 1999, something went wrong with the Boeing 767 that was covering it that day.

Two hundred three passengers and 14 crew on board the flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean around 62 miles to the south of Nantucket, and there were no survivors. 767 are reliable aircraft, so it’s very unusual for something to go wrong as much as this. so a significant investigation was ordered to ensure that would never happen again.

The problem was there was very little information that helped investigators determine a definitive cause. Even now, the reason for the crash remains unknown. A mechanical malfunction occurred; the first officer’s controls weren’t working correctly, or something more sinister took place.

The Last was recording from the cockpit was released and appeared to say I’ve decided now I put my faith in god’s hands. could this mean that one of the flight crew ditch the plane on purpose or was it a malfunction like the investigators? Initially thought.

#10 Pan Am flight 7

Pan Am was the first company to regularly scheduled round the world flights that stop at multiple cities over several days before returning to the airport where they have begun. To give people the chance to take in stopovers across most continents and was heralded as the height of what air travel can offer.

Photo By: RuthAS

Until the faded Pan Am flight 7, which departed San Francisco on the first leg of the flight to Honolulu in Hawaii on 8 November 1957. the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, called clipper romance of the skies, took off without any problems. For the first part of the flight, everything went to plan; something went catastrophically wrong. However, the flight crew stopped communicating over the radio. There hadn’t been any emergency messages, so it was hoped it was just a signal fault for a while, but 9 hours after their last transmission on their fuel would have run out, it still hadn’t been any sign of the plane. So rescue effort was launched, it became the largest search and rescue mission to have ever been conducted in the Pacific Ocean at the time, and it took a week before the wreckage in the bodies of 19 of the 44 passengers were found, around 900 miles to the northeast of Honolulu .there were several investigations to try to explain what happened it was such a lack of evidence that no conclusions could be reached. It is said it could have been sabotaged, poor maintenance, or a fire, these were mere speculation, and the true costs will probably never be known.

#9 1956 B-47 disappearance

Almost instances where planes have disappeared are tragic because of the loss of life. There’s one aviation mystery that has the potential for far more comprehensive destruction. You can still pose a risk to this day. On 10 March 1956, a U. S. military Boeing B-47 Stratojet took off from MacDill airforce base in Florida with three crew members aboard. Its destination was the Bangor rear air base in Morocco which is further than the plane’s maximum range, requiring two aerial refuelings.

A B-47 Stratojet is refuelled in mid-air by a KC-97 photo by

The first one without any problem, but the second was scheduled to take place over the Mediterranean Sea. The tanker plane made visual contact with the B-47, but they flew beneath cloud cover, so the B-47 began to descend through it to refuel was significant; the plane never emerged beneath the cloud cover and was never seen again. The reason why this was such an important event is that the B-47 had been carrying two capsules that contain material for a nuclear weapon. one of those no risk that it would detonate it could undoubtedly be used to make a deadly weapon if it fell into the wrong hands .still no traces ever been found of what happened to the plane or crew. It’s hoped that in the best-case scenario, the wreckage along with the nuclear material is lying at the bottom of the sea.

#8 BSAA Star Dust

The friends and family of people involved in aviation mysteries often have to come to terms with the fact that they’ll never find out what happened to their loved ones. The case of the BSAA Star Dust should give them hope, though. Because it was a mystery that remains unsolved for more than 50 years, but despite the record now having them found, there are still plenty of questions about what happened. 2 August 1947, a British South American Airways flight took off from Buenos Aires in Argentina that was scheduled to arrive in Santiago, Chile.

Photo from Trend Vid. ∆ Unzensiert

A few hours later, the plane noticed Avro 691 Lancastrian 3 and an 11 on board including the crew .but as it was crossing the Argentine Andes it crashed into Mount Tupungato. The last message received from the plane before disappearing in Morse code, and it’s spelled out the letters STENDEC twice, and to this day, nobody knows what that was intended to mean. A large-scale recovery operation was sent along the flight path to recover the plane and any survivors; they couldn’t find any trace of it. Only in 1998 two climbers were scaling the mountain at the wreckage was finally found, and even then, it wasn’t exactly clear how the plane crashed. It seems as if the propeller was rotating at cruising speed at the time of impact, so it’s possible they thought they had cleared the mountain range and descended into the peak and had a snowdrift. This wouldn’t explain the mysterious messages that were sent precisely what happened; we’ll probably never know for sure, but at least the bodies of those on board were finally recovered.

#7 TWA flight 800

On 17 July 1996, Trans World Airlines, flight 800 exploded in midair just 12 minutes after taking off from JFK airport in New York with the loss of all 230 people on board. It was the third-deadliest aircraft accident in U. S. history led to 1 of the most comprehensive air crash investigations ever to be undertaken.

Photo from britannica.com

But despite this, the actual cost has never been established. Incidents like this once a plane is reached cruising altitude are incredibly rare suspicions soon arose that it was terrorism or sabotage. This meant that the FBI in the joint terrorism task force was involved in the investigation at every step along with the NTSB. Although 16 months after the incident, they announced that there was no sign of foul play. Instead, the leading theory is that a short circuit ignited fuel vapors from the central fuel tank, which led to new rules about how they need to be insulated on planes that carry passengers. But this is still a theory and hasn’t been conclusively proven; other suggestions are that the aircraft was structurally weakened somehow broke apart during the storm. There is still suspect something untoward happened, with traces of explosives on three debris pieces.

#6 Flying Tiger Line Flight 739

On 16 March 1962, flying tiger line flight 739 departed from Travis Air Force base in California to Saigon in Vietnam, but it would never make it to its intended destination. Lockheed L. 1049 super constellation propliner had been chartered by the U. S. military to transport 93 soldiers and three locals to Vietnam. But the last anyone saw of them was when it stopped to refuel in Guam. The pilot sent a message to check in 80 minutes after departure.

Photo from Carol Cain

When the radio operator in Guam trying to get in touch an hour later, there was no response a few hours later after the plane’s fuel load whatever runs out. An extensive scale search and rescue mission was launched, aircraft and ships covering 2000 square miles of the ocean over the next seven days. Despite this effort, no trace of the plane has ever been found .the only clue as to what happened was a report by a tanker whose crew saw an explosion in the air .it’s, therefore, thought that for some reason the plane suffered from an in-flight explosion but with the wreckage to analyze the mystery of what happened to flight 739 continues.

# 5 Varig Flight 967

It’s rare for a pilot to be involved in a plane crash and almost unheard of for someone to be at the controls of 2 fatal incidents. That’s what happened with Varig Flight 967. it was a cargo plane that took off from the Narita International Airport in Japan en route to the International Airport at Los Angeles. Still, at some point, it vanished above the Pacific Ocean.

Varig Flight 967, an international cargo flight from Tokyo-Narita Airport to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport

The pilot, captain Araújo da Silva was familiar with the Boeing 707. He had more than 23000 log flying hours had been in charge of one that had crashed six years earlier in Paris, France. Around 30 minutes after takeoff, the air traffic controllers lost communication with the jet, and it soon disappeared from radar. Typically assumed something terrible had happened, search teams were sent out to try to find the wreckage. No trace of the plane whatsoever, and that’s when the conspiracy theories began. It was carrying a precious cargo, 53 paintings by Japanese Brazilian artist Manabu Mabe, valued at around $1.2M. Possible that the 6 flight crew came up with a plan to take the paintings for themselves, or was there an awful malfunction that destroyed all the plane’s evidence, cargo, and crew.

#4 DB Cooper

The story of DB Cooper is one of the biggest aviation mysteries of all time. Even to this day, almost 50 years after it took place, pieces of evidence are still coming forward that one day explained what happened. on the afternoon of 24 November 1971, Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 was preparing for take-off from Portland to Seattle, shortly after reaching altitude a passenger who was sitting in the rear handed a note to one of the flight attendants claimed that the man who gave her the note had a bomb on him.

D. B. Cooper photo by FBI

He demanded $200,000 for parachutes and a fuel truck to refuel the plane in Seattle. The pilot called in air traffic control to try to keep all the in the passenger safe. The president of the airline authorized the payment for the ransom. The plane landed, the passengers were released; the man known only as DB Cooper inform the flight crew of their new destination in Mexico. The aircraft was refueled and took off again, which is five people on board. The five other planes followed it to keep track of it; everyone apart from Cooper was in the flight deck; this is where things get weird. The warning light shows that there had been a rapid change of pressure in the cabin, which would suggest that a door had been opened, but it soon resolved itself when the plane landed in Mexico it was searched, and it was no sign of the man meaning he must have jumped. None of the following planes saw any indication of when or where this happened with that the man was gone; despite listing the serial numbers of the ransom and conducting extensive searches, authorities have been unable to find clues about who DB Cooper was or where he went. since then three packets of cash an old parachute strap and a handwritten note with Cooper’s demands have been found at sites along the plane’s flight path, but that’s it.

2016 the FBI officially suspended their investigation into the case. Still, they did announce that they have collected DNA they believed to be from him. so it’s entirely possible that one day after finding further evidence, the case could be reopened.

#3 Helios Airways Flight 552

14 August 2005, Helios Airways Flight 552 was preparing for departure from the Larnaca airport in Cyprus just like any other day.

This will be the last time this particular plane would taxi down the runway because we never make it to its intended destination in Athens, Greece what would become the worst aviation disaster in Greek history.

The last contact with any of the crew on board was 20 minutes into the flight will be almost another 3:00 hours before the crash happened .this was enough time for fighter jets to be scrambling to locate the plane in the air the pilots reported seeing the co-pilot slumped over the controls with the deployed oxygen mask hanging above him this would suggest that the aircraft lost pressurization for some reason it was so sudden that no one on board had a chance to attach their masks before they fell unconscious it was nothing anyone can do.

Photo by infiniteflight

The plane burned all of its fuel before crashing into the ground and killing everyone on board. The question remains, though, what could have caused it? There were suggestions to do with a faulty door that had only recently been fixed by engineers or structural weakness in the plane’s fuselage. The wreckage was so severely burned in the post-crash fire that the actual cause was impossible to determine. All the black box recorder showed was the flight attendants’ heroic attempts to awaken the pilots, but his attempts ultimately proved to be in vain.

#2 Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was one of the most well-known celebrities overtime having spearheaded advances in aviation and leading to the formation of the 90 nines which was an organization dedicated to assisting female pilots. she set numerous world records such as being the first female passengers across the Atlantic by plane and completing the first trans-Atlantic flight by a female, but she was far from done. The next challenge was to circumnavigate the world by plane. It was during this attempt that she and her navigator disappeared.

They flew a Lockheed Electra 10 E. and one leg between the late airfield in Papua New Guinea and Howland Island. They took a break before continuing to Hawaii. This was the most extended leg of their planned route that took the plane to its absolute limits. They almost made it too, but something happened while they approached Howland island, and they disappeared forever, which is one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time. There’s been speculation that they crashed into the ocean, but they landed on another island where they lived out the rest of their lives or that they were even captured by the Japanese and kept as prisoners. We may never know precisely what happened to Earhart, but her story is probably responsible for inspiring countless people to take to the skies even to this day.

#1 Malaysian airlines MH 370

Flight disasters are thankfully infrequent, so when they do happen, it’s usually not long before the wreckage is found so investigators can determine what happened to prevent it from occurring again. There’s one mystery from recent times that continues to baffle people the world over. Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a journey to Beijing in China; after last communicating with the ground around 38 minutes into the flight when they were over the South China Sea, the plane vanished from radar and was never seen again. Despite searching more than 46000 square miles of the ocean over the following years, the answer to this mystery seems further away than ever.

Several pieces of wreckage of a found washed up on shore as far away as Madagascar because it’s such a high profile event there are countless theories to explain what happened to the plane 239 people on board were it shut down? was it hijacked? And could have possibly landed somewhere else entirely. Or They’re a malfunction, perhaps with the autopilot that steered in an unpredictable direction which you continue along until the fuel ran out. With search attempts, until investigators can further narrow down the possible locations of the wreckage, it seems like it’ll be a long time before this mystery is finally solved. The chances are that one day the remains of an MH 370 will be found, and it’s hoping that it’ll only be a matter of years before this happens, so the families of those on board get some degree of closure.

This articles has been derived from Top Fives YT.

You May Also Like