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Stolen B727 In Angola In 2003 - Any News?  
User currently offlineYirina77 From Czech Republic, joined Aug 2006, 632 posts, RR: 33
Posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13850 times:

I just remembered cause of stolen B727 in Angola 25th May 2003. There were speculations about possible terrorist use in future of that plane, because it was converted to cistern version shortly before steal.
There were some rumours, that someone spotted that plane at some african airports with new registration, but nothing was confirmed.
Than this cause fade out. I didn´t notice any news in media for a long time. Does anybody has a better info?
Thanks Yirina


One day can make your life; one day can ruin your life. All life is four or five big days that change everything...
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13811 times:

IIRC there were rumours that this was the plane that crashed in Cotonou on Christmas 2003 on a flight from Conakry via Cotonou to Beirut. They forged the registration of the aircraft and was subsequently operated by a Guinea-Lebanese company called UTA.

User currently offlineYirina77 From Czech Republic, joined Aug 2006, 632 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13777 times:

Quoting KL577 (Reply 1):
IIRC there were rumours that this was the plane that crashed in Cotonou on Christmas 2003

I know about that rumours, but it was 3X-GDM (21089/1263) in Cotonou. Stolen plane was 20985/1123. Probably we´ll never know what really happened in Angola Sad



One day can make your life; one day can ruin your life. All life is four or five big days that change everything...
User currently offlineAMSSFO From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 952 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13336 times:

Read this link for a lot of info on the missing 727:
http://nosuchblog.blog-city.com/still_more_on_the_missing_727.htm
On te right you find more stories on this and other 727s


User currently offlineSetjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1097 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13254 times:

On May 25, 2003, a Boeing 727 with the registration number N844AA - formerly owned by American Airlines - was stolen from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Luanda, Angola. A Miami-based company called Aerospace Sales & Leasing Co. was reported to be its last owner.

Most intelligence agencies believe the missing plane to be in the hands of terrorists or drug dealers.

N844AA was formerly owned by American Airlines, and was one of two at Quatro de Fevereiro in the process of being converted for use by an Africa-based airline. The aircraft had been sitting idle in Angola for 14 months, and it owed more than $4 million in backdated airport fees.

Reports conflict as to whether it was to be used by TAAG Air Angola, or if it was in the process of being converted to a diesel tanker, with seating removed and attachment of aluminium fuel tanks to the floor.

There were reports that a male boarded the aircraft, but was not seen leaving it. When the aircraft started taxiing down the runway, the control tower tried to make contact, but there was no response. The aircraft was seen to be making abrupt changes in direction while on the taxiways, and even during the takeoff run.

Reportedly, the aircraft was later in the airspace of Seychelles where it asked for permission to land, but disappeared shortly thereafter. It has not been seen since.

Ben Charles PadillaA 51-year-old mechanic from Florida named Ben Charles Padilla was aboard the aircraft during the theft, and is believed by U.S. authorities to have been at the controls of the aircraft during the theft.

Padilla's family have repeatedly stated that they thought he was kidnapped, and that he was in Angola only because the aircraft leasing company had sent him there to participate as an in-flight mechanic for the aircraft's impending flight to the company's headquarters.

There were unconfirmed reports of a struggle onboard during the theft, due to the fact that the aircraft made dangerous maneuvers while taxiing before and during takeoff.


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BEN CHARLES PADILLA
LUANDA, ANGOLA
MAY 25, 2003

DESCRIPTION

Age: 50 years old Hair: Brown
Sex: Male Eyes: Brown
Height: 6'2" Race: White
Weight: Unknown Complexion: Light
Remarks: Padilla is a United States citizen from the state of Florida.

THE DETAILS

On May 25, 2003, at approximately 6 p.m. local time, an airplane took off from DeFevereiro International Airport in Luanda, Angola, with neither clearance nor a flight plan, and has not been seen since. The plane is described as a 200 series advanced 727 jet with a tail number of N844AA, and a serial number of 20985. It is unpainted silver in color with a stripe of blue, white, and blue. The plane was formerly in the air fleet of a major airline, but all of the passenger seats have been removed. It is outfitted to carry diesel fuel.

Law enforcement officials believe that Ben Charles Padilla may have been on board the plane at the time it disappeared. The FBI is interested in locating Padilla, as he may have information as to the whereabouts of the plane.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS CASE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST AMERICAN EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.


User currently offlineDetroitflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 382 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13215 times:

how the hell does some one steal a bloody 727 and get away with it????????????????????????


Boiler Up!!!
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13207 times:

Quoting Detroitflyer (Reply 5):
how the hell does some one steal a bloody 727 and get away with it????????????????????????

I take it you haven't been to Angola then?  Smile


User currently offlineEmSeeEye From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13149 times:

Quoting Setjet (Reply 4):

Been reading Wiklipedia have you?  wink 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N844AA


User currently offlinePlanenutz From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1282 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13104 times:

Straits Times of Singapore reported on 7/8/03 that the 727 that departed Luanda under mysterious circumstances had been spotted in Conakry, Guinea:

MISSING PLANE SPOTTED IN GUINEA
World File - Straits Times

A BOEING 727 jet, whose disapearrance in Angola in May sparked fears of a repeat of the 9/11 attacks, reappeared last week in the Guinean capital Conakry before vanishing again.

Canadian pilot Bob Strother spotted the plane on June 28 sporting a Guinean registration number. -- AFP

-------------

If the aircraft was re-registered in Guinea, I would have thougt that the government owuld have some sort of record about the aircraft and thus shedding light on whats transpired over the past couple of years (?)



Not all who wander are lost....
User currently offlineYirina77 From Czech Republic, joined Aug 2006, 632 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13069 times:

Quoting Planenutz (Reply 8):
Straits Times of Singapore reported on 7/8/03 that the 727 that departed Luanda under mysterious circumstances had been spotted in Conakry, Guinea:

those was later disconfirmed...it was reportedly another plane...

Quoting Planenutz (Reply 8):
If the aircraft was re-registered in Guinea, I would have thougt that the government owuld have some sort of record about the aircraft and thus shedding light on whats transpired over the past couple of years

Not in Africa...

So, I see nothing new in that case from 2003...it´s everything what has been known before...



One day can make your life; one day can ruin your life. All life is four or five big days that change everything...
User currently offlineYellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 5882 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13043 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 6):
I take it you haven't been to Angola then?

or lots of otehr African and LatAm countries.
I have seen some things happen here in Belize, that you just shake you head and say....how?



When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineSetjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1097 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12978 times:

Quoting EmSeeEye (Reply 7):

Yes, you got me  Wink I didn't make up my whole post!


User currently offlineGh123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12760 times:

I have to say - the thought of an airliner being stolen and then just vanishing is in my opinion bizarrely hilarious!

User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12734 times:

Quoting Gh123 (Reply 12):
I have to say - the thought of an airliner being stolen and then just vanishing is in my opinion bizarrely hilarious!

I have to agree with you on that one. If there was only 1 crew how could he have operated all the systems? Do the 727's have a TCAS system?

MCOflyer



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 12468 times:

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 13):
If there was only 1 crew how could he have operated all the systems? Do the 727's have a TCAS system?

It's difficult, but not impossible...

Considering it was an AA bird, it most likely had TCAS.


User currently offlineDetroitflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 382 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 12179 times:

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 13):
I have to agree with you on that one. If there was only 1 crew how could he have operated all the systems?

i would imagine it would be a lot easier to fly if you had no atc commands or FAR's to follow!!!



Boiler Up!!!
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 12137 times:

What's TCAS?

So a plane sitting idle in the African sun for 14 months is suddenly able to take off?

Sounds to me like the plane crashed in the ocean after being denied landing rights in the Seychelles.

Even in Africa, in this day and age I think it rather implausible that a 727 remains hidden for 3 yrs. Unless it landed shortly after the theft and has been hidden in a hanger since that time. And what, the theives continue to hold Mr. Padilla so they have a pilot next time they want to use the plane, 4 years later?

Very interesting story tho.


User currently offlineMohavewolfpup From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 11941 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 16):
What's TCAS?

I think it means traffic collision avoidance system or terrain collision avoidance system?


User currently offlineQantas747300 From Australia, joined Dec 2006, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 11189 times:

Is it likely that all systems are ready for operation after being idle for fouteen months? I would imagine that it would not be a simple start. Did anyone raise the alarm on the ground, perhaps someone that heard it starting up and knew that the aircraft should not be going anywhere?

I agree JAAlbert, a very interesting topic.

Qantas747300


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8414 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10140 times:
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Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 17):
traffic collision avoidance system or terrain collision avoidance system

It is the former. Terrain avoidance is GPWS or ground proximity warning system.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10090 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 16):
What's TCAS?

The first thing you would turn off if you were to steel an airplane  Smile


User currently offlineRunway23 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Jan 2005, 2153 posts, RR: 36
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 10035 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 20):
The first thing you would turn off if you were to steel an airplane

You would also turn off your transponder. But hey, I'm sure over there even with all of the stuff turned on they wouldn't blink an eye. ATC guys are probably in on the deal anyways.


User currently offlineTAP1972 From Portugal, joined Dec 2003, 396 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9802 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 6):
Quoting Detroitflyer (Reply 5):
how the hell does some one steal a bloody 727 and get away with it????????????????????????

I take it you haven't been to Angola then?

Indeed, anything can happen there.......except a pig ridding a bike

Once I was about to climb up the stairs of a TAP's A340 on my return flight to Lisbon and hesitated. One of TAAG's B747 was going to pass in front of the A340 when suddenly stopped, the left wing was going to hit the cockpit of the parked A340. The B747 was not aligned with the yellow line on the ground and had to make a deviation to get back on track and not hit the A340

About the B727, it might not have left Angola and landed in the interior in some small runway....


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