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The Most Mysterious Air Disasters?  
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12408 posts, RR: 37
Posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14309 times:

I was just wondering, in this age where we have so much recording ability - so many different parameters of aircraft performance, if there were any air disasters which remain a mystery. We know, of course, that there are still disasters where today's technology was simply not available - for example the BEA Staines crash, where there was no CVR.

However, there are still a few where there is hardly anything known, beyond the fact that the aircraft has crashed.

1) Varig 707, over the Pacific. 1979. In January 1979, a cargo 707 took off from NRT (very shortly after its opening) and disappeared around 200 miles NE of Tokyo. It was carrying a cargo of paintings (153 of one renowned artist) to Rio. No trace of the aircraft was ever found.

2) Malev 240. A Tu-154 with 60 on board crashed off the Lebanese coast, while en route from BUD to BEY in Sept 1975. No official statement has ever been made and its cause has never been known; to this day, the Hungarian secret service produced a report in 2003, but as reported in an answer to a question to the European parliament in 2007, the report remains secret for reasons not connected with the crash.

Does anyone know anything about the latter crash (particularly our Hungarian members)?

Are there any other crashes which are still shrouded in mystery?

50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2694 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14302 times:

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Are there any other crashes which are still shrouded in mystery?

What about that Italian DC 9 that disapeared over the Mediterranean Sea?


User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2992 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14288 times:
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South African 295 springs to mind...?

The 2 BSAA Tudor crashes...
Star Ariel and Star Tiger
both vanished over the Atlantic less than a year apart and doomed the Avro Tudor. Never been found.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently onlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14291 times:

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 1):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerolinee_Itavia_Flight_870

So many covers up at all levels. We will never know the truth.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13655 times:

There were several Connies that were lost over oceans and never found and causes never determined.

USN WV-2 (L-1049) lost between the Azores and Newfoundland.

Flying Tiger-749, an L-1049H lost over the Pacific.

Panair do Brasil, an L-049 crashed into a jungle and no cause was determined.

An AF L-1649A exploded over the Sahara Desert for no apparent reason.


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6133 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13585 times:
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The Arrow Air DC-8 that crashed on take off at Gander. I believe there was a disenting opinion from one or two members of Canadian board that had a different theory for the cause. Ammunition going off in the hold, if I recall correctly. Although the official cause was icing, wasn´t it?


MGGS
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30591 posts, RR: 84
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13453 times:
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Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
Although the official cause was icing, wasn´t it?

There were two official reports by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board: one written by the majority (five members) that said it was ice and one written by the minority (four members), who said it was due to an onboard fire in the cargo hold, perhaps caused by a magnesium flare. A later review concluded that the available evidence did not support either report.


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6133 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13383 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 6):
There were two official reports by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board: one written by the majority (five members) that said it was ice and one written by the minority (four members), who said it was due to an onboard fire in the cargo hold, perhaps caused by a magnesium flare. A later review concluded that the available evidence did not support either report.

Thanks. I did not recall all that detail you just provided.



MGGS
User currently offlinetonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13277 times:

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Are there any other crashes which are still shrouded in mystery?

Kaitak, Im surprised at you for not mentioning this one.....

What about Aer Lingus 712 that disappeared near Tuskar Rock! That is one of the most endearing ones in my mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer_Lingus_Flight_712



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13269 times:

On November 16, 1959, National Airlines Flight 967, en route from Tampa, FL to New Orleans, LA disappeared over the Gulf of Mexico. The aircraft was a Delta Air Lines DC-7B being flown on an interchange route with Delta, but staffed with a National Airlines crew. No cause was ever officially determined, but many at that time thought that a in-flight explosion/bombing took place.


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13172 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 9):

Wasn't this around the same time as the DC-6 National Airlines flight that exploded over New Bolivia N.C. as it was en route from what was then Idlewild to MIA? That one was a bomb explosion for insurance money.

How about one of the greatest tragedies? TWA 800. There's still speculation of a bomb, missle strike and of course the rank and file cause fuel tanks exploding.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13173 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
The Arrow Air DC-8 that crashed on take off at Gander. I believe there was a disenting opinion from one or two members of Canadian board that had a different theory for the cause. Ammunition going off in the hold, if I recall correctly. Although the official cause was icing, wasn´t it?

My late father was an AC AME authorised to service the 8 His opinion on Arrow Air was inadvertent thrust reverser deployment. Possible icing component involved as well. But there was ammunition going off post crash, for sure.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1074 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12791 times:

Two Northwest flights crashed that remain unsolved to this day - a Martin 202 in Washington state in 1951 and a DC-7C on a MAC charter in 1963 that crashed in the Pacific with the loss of all 101 on board.

User currently offlinevincewy From Taiwan, joined Oct 2005, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12549 times:

1. KE 007 (1983) shot down near Sakhalin Island. To this day, some still believe there were survivors but kept in Russia
2. SA 295 (1987) crashed near Mauritius due to fire, the question is where did fire come from?


User currently offlineheathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 978 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12157 times:

One could argue TWA 800 belongs on this list

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7210 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12085 times:

Quoting heathrow (Reply 14):
One could argue TWA 800 belongs on this list

Agreed there.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12408 posts, RR: 37
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11995 times:

Quoting tonystan (Reply 8):
Kaitak, Im surprised at you for not mentioning this one.....

What about Aer Lingus 712 that disappeared near Tuskar Rock! That is one of the most endearing ones in my mind.

I didn't think that was a mystery anymore; I did think about it, but I thought it was now accepted that it was due to structural failure.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 13):
2. SA 295 (1987) crashed near Mauritius due to fire, the question is where did fire come from?

If the Nat Geog programme can be believed, it started in packaging in the main deck cargo area.

Quoting heathrow (Reply 14):
One could argue TWA 800 belongs on this list

Why? The cause has been determined to have been vapours in the central fuel tank which exploded; I know there are conspiracy theories, but I don't think any holds water. I wouldn't rate the cause of this as a mystery.


User currently offlineIndependence76 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11783 times:

Wouldn't Air France 447 be rated among these, as well as 737-200/300 accidents associated with the faulty Parker-Hannifin rudder component?


"In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." - John Ruskin
User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2694 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11389 times:

Quoting vincewy (Reply 13):
1. KE 007 (1983) shot down near Sakhalin Island. To this day, some still believe there were survivors but kept in Russia

I don't agree that KE007 is a mistery. This is just a conspiracy theory, since for almost all major crashes there is at least one conspiracy theory.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 17):
Wouldn't Air France 447 be rated among these

Only to the extent that there is still no clear explanation of why the PF made the control inputs he made. The crash itself is maybe the best documented crash at all.


User currently onlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10904 times:

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 17):



These accidents have been a mystery for a while, but now everything has been explained. In the case of AF447, I personally believed that they could have not solved the mystery but I was wrong. The discussion is now if it was only the pilot's fault or if the design of the cockpit contributed to the disaster too, but, technically, we know exactly what happened. The same for the 737 accidents caused by the rudder actuator. They remained mysteries for years but now it is clear what caused the accident.

There is the Silk Air 737 crash and since the CVR was off at the moment of the accident, both rudder problem and pilot suicide cannot be ruled out.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7210 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10904 times:

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 17):
Wouldn't Air France 447 be rated among these,

Wasn't too much of a mystery besides why the pilot flying was climbing instead of keeping level.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineshnoob940 From Australia, joined Sep 2008, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10465 times:

Egypt Air 990 is mysterious, they never agreed on the cause.


A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A388 733 734 735 737 738 739 743 744 762 763 773 788 E170 E190 Q400
User currently offlineFlobo3 From Austria, joined Mar 2011, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10200 times:

I would add swissair flight 111 that crashed near Gander in 1998 ... because they never recovered the 500 million canadian dollar worth diamond treasure from the cargo hold  

User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10172 times:

Quoting shnoob940 (Reply 22):
Egypt Air 990 is mysterious, they never agreed on the cause.

...or political reasons. The cause is pretty obvious, suicide by the FO PF.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 13):
2. SA 295 (1987) crashed near Mauritius due to fire, the question is where did fire come from?

undeclared DG igniting during flight. The origin was TPE if I'm not mistaken. happens quite regularly on container vessels BTW, especially coming from that region.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineokAY From Finland, joined Dec 2006, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9976 times:

The mystery of Kaleva, Ju-52 operated by Aero, the predecessor of Finnair. in June 1940, the plane was shot down en route from Tallin to Helsinki by the Soviets, and no official reason has ever been given. The Soviets denied ever shooting down Kaleva, but the incident was added to the Paris Peace Treaty signed by Finland and the Soviet Union, freeing Soviet Union from any responsibility concerning the shoot down. The documents about the shooting have disapeared or distroeyed after the Soviet fall-down. Thus, only assumptions can be given for the reasons why this commercial flight was targeted.


Kaleva shoot down

okAY


25 727LOVER : How about the Pan Am 727-100 over East Germany 1966-----shot down???
26 PanHAM : PA708 - since the Soviets did not allow a US team to investigate at the vcrash site the reason for the crash could never be established. The Soviets d
27 na : That one I still find mysterious too. Too many witnesses who said things contradictory to the official statement. And too important reasons why this
28 BrouAviation : I do think it is a mistery, as for the question why it was shot down never got answered. Did they really believe it was spying for the US? Or did the
29 na : Yes, the question why was never sufficiently answered. Probably, but unlikely. The chance that this plane could have been used for spying was very lo
30 Post contains links NBGSkyGod : A less known mystery aircraft was a learjet that crashed near Lebanon, NH in 1996. It simply disappeared off radar (no radar below 3500') and was neve
31 alggag : When he was interviewed on Mayday/Air Crash Investigation he insisted that it was a spy plane, even today. However, one of the other commentators sug
32 na : He is a liar. He isnt an honest man, simply as that. He in the first place made a huge mistake. Insisting a passenger plane was a spy, and on top not
33 keegd76 : I can understand why the Egyptians would refuse to accept that conclusion. They idea that any pilot would intentionally kill the passengers for which
34 Post contains links debonair : El Al Cargo flight 1862 in Amsterdam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Al_Flight_1862 The reason for the crash is known- but what was loaded on board
35 PanHAM : There were detailled reports in the press about that. The fighter pilot simply executed an order and that order came through the chain of commands fr
36 N14AZ : I am not his lawyer but they say that seen from behind (as far as I know he never flew next to the 747) it's possible to mix up a 747 and a 707: same
37 na : The Russian pilot who shot it down (and there were 3 more russian jets around who could have helped to identify the plane) said he saw two rows of wi
38 LTBEWR : There are several categories of 'mysterious' Air Disasters. One is that there are a number that occurred up and until the 1990's where the remains wer
39 Post contains links rmoore7734 : KAL Flight 007 explained http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csq9g5sX8v0&feature=related
40 AR385 : I do not think any of the above is relevant. Any aircraft straying into soviet territory in those years ran the risk of being shot down. Civilian or
41 N14AZ : I am confused. What does this video "explain"?
42 Post contains links Viscount724 : . 2 passengers killed from the missile shrapnel. Photos here: http://www.historyofpia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14196 Some additional photos
43 rmoore7734 : In 1980 Larry McDonald introduced American Legion National Convention Resolution 773 to the House of Representatives calling for a comprehensive cong
44 BoeingGuy : This one is about as clear as Mudd, as you can get. On board fire and first the crew wanted to go all the way back to BOS, then were flying around du
45 Post contains links Mortyman : Bermuda Triangle BSAA Star Tiger disappearance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-AHNP_%22Star_Tiger%22 Flight 19: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_19
46 WestJet747 : A liar is someone who intentionally misleads others with what they know to be untrue, which I don't see as the case. I believe that the pilot legitim
47 Post contains links rmoore7734 : If it is still a conspiracy strange how we have so many political leaders & the pope etc. talking about it an endorsing it. See this for the quot
48 debonair : I just saw a documentary on AF Concorde's AF4590 crash. As we all know, the official cause was a metal debris from a CO DC10- rupturing the Concorde t
49 WestJet747 : Before it became the title of a popular conspiracy theory, the term "new world order" meant a period of time where the world saw a dramatic political
50 Post contains links rmoore7734 : Yes wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order refers to a number of meanings for NWO but i am referencing the one they have in quotes (conspi
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