Finally, after more than two dreadful weeks, it came out that the missing plane of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean. The aircraft Boeing 777-200, heading to Beijing with 239 passengers, left Kuala Lumpur early Saturday, and then just flew off radar. In today’s technological world, the case of plane disappearances are simply implausible and unlikely. However, aircraft missing is not very uncommon in aviation history. 100 aircraft have gone missing since 1948. Here is a brief history of five plane disappearances. Years later, some still remain unsolved.
2009: Brazil to France, Air France Flight 447
On May 31, 2009 Paris bound Airbus A330 left from Rio de Janeiro. The Air France Airbus disappeared off radar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, carrying 228 passengers. It took a complete five-day to locate the debris of the airline, and three years for the investigators to discover what had happened. The report said that ice crystals had caused the autopilot to malfunction. Only the bodies of 154 passengers were found.
2003: Angola to Burkina Faso, Boeing 727
Luanda is the capital of Angola. The Boeing 727 plane took to the air from Luanda airport, was heading to Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. It was an American Airlines passenger jet before converting and leasing to an Angolan airline. There are contradictory reports on the number of people in the aircraft. Aircraft engineer Ben Charles Padilla is supposed to be the only person on board. Several reports say that 3 people were aboard. However, the plane was never found, and its whereabouts are mysterious till date.
1972: Uruguay to Chile, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571
One of the most incredible disasters in the history of plane disappearances occurred on October 13, 1972 in South America. This is also called Andes flight disaster. Carrying 45 passengers and crew, the aircraft crashed into the Andes Mountains due to poor weather. One third of the passengers were killed during the crash and some others succumbed to cold and injury. Finally, 16 people survived by eating the corpses, the victims of the plane crash. They were rescued 72 days after as they walked for ten days through the mountains to seek help.
1962: Micronesia to Philippines, Flying Tiger Line Flight 739
The U.S. military aircraft departed Guam in 1962 with more than 90 personnel, bound for the Philippines, but it never made it. The aircraft added to the history of plane disappearances. No distress call was issued from the aircraft pilots, and the United States military team of 1300 people involved in searching never discovered any clues of wreck.
1947: Buenos Aires to Chile, British South American Airways Stardust
Sixty seven years ago, another airplane missing disaster is significant in the history of plane disappearances. A Chile bound British flight vanished without a trace. More than 50 years it remained a mystery, finding no clues at all. The plane was reportedly carrying 11 passengers. In 1998, two Argentine rock climbers found engine debris in the Andes, which determined the aircraft had crashed in the Argentine Andes Mountains. Later, a military expedition discovered human remains there as well.
By Rahad Abir