NDiesel From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 66 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 20324 times:
Reading about the recent tragedy in Pakistan, a link directed me to a historic overview of other air disasters in the country. One that stands out is the PIA flight PK404 with an F28 reg AP-BBF which took off from Gilgit Airport in Northern Pakistan in 1989 with 54 souls on board. The plane vanished, never to be found again - presumed crashed in the Himalayas.
Are there other crashes in history where the wreckage was never recovered? As we all know AF447 came close to such a fate, yet I'm unable to come up with any other ones in more recent times. And, with the technology now available such as Google Earth giving semi-high resolution images of virtually every part of the globe, wouldn't it be plausible to say, use the planned flightpath of PK404 and "search" the area where it may have gone down? Obviously this becomes impossible with crashes that have happened in water, but the aforementioned was in a mountainous area.
Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8522 posts, RR: 46 Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 20336 times:
In 1979, there was a Varig Cargo 707 that went missing (1) somewhere between NRT and LAX, never to be found. Among its cargo were paintings worth over $1 million and the captain was one of the few survivors of an earlier Varig crash at ORY (2).
maxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 988 posts, RR: 6 Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 20145 times:
I think you meant F-27, not F-28.
There have been a number of commercial aircraft missing over land that were not found for decades, including a BSAA Lancastrian and a Saeta Viscount, both in the Andes. But the most interesting to me was a Trans-Canada Lockheed Lodestar that vanished on approach to Vancouver in 1947. The wreckage was finally located by hikers in 1994 about 25 miles from the airport!
The largest loss of life involving a missing aircraft was a Flying Tigers Constellation that vanished over the Western Pacific in 1962 with 107 aboard. Not a trace was ever found.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6812 posts, RR: 29 Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 19825 times:
Quoting NDiesel (Thread starter): with the technology now available such as Google Earth giving semi-high resolution images of virtually every part of the globe,
Imagery of a lot less of the globe than you might thing is available at resolutions sufficient to recognize an aircraft. The good imagery you see on Google Earth is from aerial photography, not satellites.
Giglit Airport - GIL/ OPGT - is located in a mountain valley with an elevation near 4,800 feet. Satellite photography in mountains is subject to distortions on steep hillsides, making location of wreckage extremely difficult. The method air reconnissance folks like to use is to compare imagery taken a few days apart at the same time of day and look for changes.
The crash occured in August, and by September was likely covered with snow/ice. It could have crashed in an area of permanent snow/ ice - and the wreckage be buried under several dozen feet of snow and ice today. Even if it crashed in an area which is only seasonally covered with snow and ice, the spring melt would easily have moved parts of the wreckage down the mountains and scattered it across hundreds of miles.
An aircraft impact at cruise or climb speed into steep mountains often fractures the wreckage into very small pieces. Only very strong high density items like the engines and landing gear survive as recognizable aircraft parts. I've seen two major and several minor crash sites. The level of destruction of the aircraft is amazing. Hard to understand until you've seen it in person.
The search for Steve Fossett showed the limitations of using such imagery for searches. Some of the highest detail aerial imagery is available for the crash site. Even after the wreckage was located, folks were not able to find indications of the crashed aircraft in Google Earth.
cbphoto From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1531 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 19801 times:
I am sure their are hundreds of General Aviation wreckages that have yet to be discovered out their! I had heard a story about a father and his son going up in a Piper cub in the Phoenix area and crashed into the McDowell Mountains, on the east side of Phoenix! That mountain is routinely hiked by people every day and yet to this day, no part of the wreckage has yet to be found!
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3764 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 19759 times:
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 3): The search for Steve Fossett showed the limitations of using such imagery for searches. Some of the highest detail aerial imagery is available for the crash site. Even after the wreckage was located, folks were not able to find indications of the crashed aircraft in Google Earth.
The search for Steve Fossett also discovered several other aircraft wrecks that had until then lain undiscovered.
Which does give a good indication of just how hard it is to find these things.
connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13 Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 19710 times:
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 2): There have been a number of commercial aircraft missing over land that were not found for decades, including a BSAA Lancastrian and a Saeta Viscount, both in the Andes. But the most interesting to me was a Trans-Canada Lockheed Lodestar that vanished on approach to Vancouver in 1947. The wreckage was finally located by hikers in 1994 about 25 miles from the airport!
There was a TCA North Star that vanished about 100nm east of YVR, returning to base at night after an engine failure. This was about 1953, wreckage was finally found about 15 years later near the peak of Mount Slesse.
TCA Lancastrian en route Goose Bay - Prestwick in 1944 vanished without a trace nor a Mayday. Only working theory to my knowledge was an explosion - not unknown with the Lancastrians, which were somewhat civilianized versions of the Lancaster bomber. Could carry 10 high priority pax plus a steward.
Bear in mind that with the technology available now, odds of something literally disappearing, at least on the commercial level, are fairly low. See AF447.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6812 posts, RR: 29 Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 19681 times:
I need to add for the OP - no one is against using such tools as aerial or satellite imagery to search for long lost aircraft. It is done and occasionally produces a possible crash site worth searching on the ground.
But aerial imagery is not a 'cure' for the problem. A surprisingly large aircraft can completely disappear in the right type of terrain, snow, trees, etc.
The ValueJet DC-9 crash is an example. Had folks not seen where the plane went down - it might never have been found, or certainly not found after an extensive ground search in the swamp. For a limited time part of one engine was visible but later sank under the water. Otherwise there was no visible sign of a crash except for some scattered paper and other light debris.
NorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 39 Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18925 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW CHAT OPERATOR
Quoting SkyGazer (Reply 13):
KAL007, allegedly shot down by Soviet jets over Sakhalin island, never to be seen again.
I thought the wreckage of KAL007 had been found?
But along the same line, there were 2 small aircraft found in the same lake in Northern Ontario when I was young, A Norseman and a Cessna 182, the Norseman had been missing for i think it was 25 years or so... was found by accident during the search for the 182!
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
SEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6473 posts, RR: 41 Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18911 times:
I was involved in the search for a Lear that went down on Christmas Eve, 1996 near Lebanon, NH. It was not found until a hunter discovered it about two years later. It was found in a place where I had flown over at not more that 200' above ground level with two observers, and none of us saw anything suspicious. It had flown into rising terrain that was heavily wooded, and was completely invisible from above (I flew over the site after it was discovered; it was easy to see how we missed it.) So the idea of finding a crash site with Google Earth is laughable. High resolution military photos, perhaps; but Google Earth is woefully inadequate. Any heavily wooded area can conceal even a large aircraft wreck from all but the most intensive aerial search; although the larger the plane the more likely it is to be discovered. But when an aircraft hits a mountain at high speed it is amazing how small the pieces become.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2806 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18856 times:
Quoting SkyGazer (Reply 13): KAL007, allegedly shot down by Soviet jets over Sakhalin island, never to be seen again.
I was going to add that one. They showed wreckage on a press release, but closer examination revealed that it included at least one part of an ejection seat and other bits that also couldn't be part of a 747 but were military. At least that is what Michel Brun says in his book.
The wreckage was not discovered until 2006, as the ice started to melt.
Well the wreck site was seen within a couple days of the crash but was too difficult to access from the ground so no major recovery efforts were attempted. Only some bodies were removed with great difficulty and even the flight recorder search was abandoned due to the impossible conditions.
Small pieces have been recovered over the years, including at least 2 complete flight manuals and several warning placards from inside the cabin.
More of the wreckage is coming to the surface lower down now because of the retreat of the glacier, and it is expected that the flight recorders will be found in the next few years.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
OB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 325 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 16647 times:
I have a classic, courtesy of aviation-safety.net:
Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation, 107 occupants.
Flying Tiger Line Flight 7815/13, operating as Military Air Transport Service (MATS) Charter flight 739/14, originated at Travis AFB with refueling stops at Honolulu, Wake Island, Guam, Clark AFB and was to terminate at Saigon. The flight arrived at Guam at 11:14 GMT with the only irregularities on the way being minor maintenance on the ignition systems of engines no. 1 and 3 at Honolulu, a 30min delay at Honolulu because of stewardess complaints of inadequate rest facilities aboard, and minor maintenance at Wake Island (discrepancies in the no. 1 and 3 engine ignition systems). The flight departed Guam at 12:57 GMT for an IFR flight to Clark AFB, Philippine Islands with an ETA of 19:16 GMT.
The flight climbed to a cruising altitude of 18000 feet and reported being at position 13 40'N and 140 00'E at 14:22. The crew expected to reach position 14 00'N 135 00'E at 15:30. At 15:33 Guam IFSS was experiencing communication difficulties caused by heavy radio static and at 15:39 the operator attempted to contact N6921C to obtain its position report. No radio contact could be established. Search and rescue operations were instituted at 19:43.It appeared that at 15:30 GMT (01:30 local time) the crew of the SS TL Lenzen supertanker had sighted a midair explosion from their position at 13 44'N and 134 49'E. The subsequent search covered 144000 sq miles using 48 aircraft and 8 surface vessels, but nothing was found.
I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
25 Euclid: Well, from South Africa, I can tell you about such a case. Two young guys, who were back then busy with their compulsory national service, took off f
26 speedbird217: Interesting thread! How about a whole formation of 5 aircraft? Flight 19 comes to mind, five TBM Avenger disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1945.
27 71Zulu: Two of them close to MSY, November 16, 1959, National Airlines flight 967, a DC-7, enroute TPA-MSY, disappeared from radar and crashed into the Gulf o
28 Archer: In New Zealand a Dragon Rapide disappeared near or in Cook Sound I believe. A flight with a honeymoon couple and the pilot. No trace was ever found. I
29 LVTMB: On 3 November 1965 an Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina) C-54 - registered TC48 - was lost off Costa Rica en route from Balboa-Howard AFB in
30 71Zulu: Some may have seen this video, http://youtu.be/OgWfQoNaCZU this pilot, his wife and 4 passengers went missing in Venezuela in 2009 and they have neve
31 COSPN: Guam to the Philippines is missing two aircraft !!! Flying Tiger 739 (3/15/62), and the Hawaii Clipper (7/28/30) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii_C
32 Viscount724: 5 months later, not 15 years. That crash occurred in December 1956 and the wreckage was found in May 1957. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record
33 Viscount724: Not correct. The wreckage was found and 82% (by weight) was recovered. Read the accident report (link to the report is in the link you posted.)
34 KC135TopBoom: Look here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_Triangle and here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Sea and here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T
35 airplane: In Ecuador August 15 1976 a vickers viscount flying for a domestic carrier "SAETA" carrying 55 passengers plus 4 crew, disappeared while on route from
36 rleiro: On April 2nd 1993, a DC-9-10 of Aeropostal crashed nearby La Blanquilla Island during a test flight. All 11 on board perished. It was just found a lif
37 GRZ-AIR: The planes that crashed into the WTC during 911 - was there any wreckage ever found? rgds GRZ-AIR
38 okie: How about the 727 tail number 844AA that disappeared along with pilot and a mechanic. Okie