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Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 2:42 am

I was sitting in an airport restaurant at SFO with a Delta pilot who told me a story about Delta's L-1011 fleet. Apparently, some of the aircraft are haunted by ghosts of a dead flight crew. Can any Delta employees or insiders here elaborate?

We pilots always exchange stories like that but this one seems particularly interesting.

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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 4:29 am

Read John G. Fuller's THE GHOST OF FLIGHT 401 - quite a gripping book in places. Actually, this involved an EASTERN L1011 and the story was the Flight Engineer was seen in an underfloor galley and the captain was seen in the First Class cabin of another airliner. There were rumours that one of the aircraft, N318EA, was particularly susceptible to ghosts. As for Delta, bear in mind that many of the L101ls they have originated with Eastern.
Or of course, you could take it with a pinch of salt.
Just as I think of it, one or two of the ex Eastern L10s found their way to Cathay and I notice a question about ghosts at Kai Tak . . . !

RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 5:33 am

In 1972 an Eastern Airlines L1011 crashed in the Everglades. It was a new Tristar, only 4 months old. After the crash any salvageable parts were taken from the site. These parts e.g. oven doors eventually found themselves on other Eastern Tristars. Flight crews apparently started seeing the captain of the doomed Tristar of 1972. After Eastern was dismantled, the Tristars along with the salvaged parts from the crash were put in service with Delta.
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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 5:48 am

Wow, that´s spooky...!
Is there any story that became a part of the "aviation folklore", if you know what I mean? (sic). Anything spooky preferred  )))
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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 5:57 am

I first heard the story of the Eastern Ghosts in 1979. It just so happened a week later my family flew on an Eastern L1011 and my sister kept trying to scare me the whole trip. I was only 5 and at the end of the trip. the flight attendants took me down to the lower galley where the ghost always appeared. I didn't see anything and eventually forgot the story. Then about ten years later a guy I know told me how he knew several Eastern flight attendants who swore up and down they saw the ghost. I started to get back into the story and since then this is what I have observed. After talking to several Eastern people it is a mixed bag. Some say they know perfectly normal people who saw him and others say they are all crazy. In 1990 I flew on another EAL L1011 (N308EA). It along with N318EA, N309EA, and I believe N325EA had sightings. I kept my eyes open but noticed nothing. It is interesting to note that EAL wouldn't let employees who saw the ghost back to work unless they saw a professional, but they removed the parts from 401 from all the planes listed above. N318EA is with Cathay pacific, and N308EA was with Delta but is now in the desert. As far as I ghosts have been seen since 1974.......if you believe the story to begin with.

RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 6:09 am

This topic has been discussed before on this board. Go the search screen and type in "ghost". Look for:

Eastern Airlines' Ghosts? originally posted by Gnomon

Airliner Ghosts (eastern 401) originally posted by Tony

"Ghosts" of flight 401 originally posted by KIWI

These three topics are a great discussion of Eastern 401

Fly US Airways
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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 6:51 am

I've been on an EX EA L-1011 with Delta. N740DL (EX-N336EA). Didn't see anything. It was a little creepy, just because when the engines started up, then whole plane vibrated and made squeeky noises.
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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sat Aug 21, 1999 7:03 am

When the Eastern L1011's came to Delta, I heard some folks talking about this
stuff. That was a long time ago and I had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding
me! Next time I'm working on one of these things by myself, at 3 in the morning,
on a dark and cold ramp I will probably start to hear strange noises!
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Here's The Story

Sun Aug 22, 1999 9:00 am

In 1972:

Eastern Airlines, designation: N310EA, listed as Fl. 401, was on its approach into Miami airport. As they dropped the landing gears preparing for descent, they noticed that the forward landing gear light wasn't illuminated. They figured 2 possibilities:

-1: The forward gear wasn't down
-2: The forward gear was down, but the light wasn't working.

-With these options, they decided that it would be better to assume the gears weren't down, then take the risk of a belly-landing. The flight-crew: Captain Bob Loft, First Officer Burt Stockstill, Flight Engineer Don Repo, and an off-duty Eastern Airlines officer Angelo Donadeo, became completely preoccupied with it. They overshot the runway and used the autopilot to maintain a holding pattern 2,000 feet above the Everglades. They crew were both looking for a lightbulb and were trying to figure out if the gears were down. The Captain must have nudged the yoke, which disengaged the autopilot and began a slow descent, it went unnoticed by the crew. Don Repo, with assistance from Angelo Donadeo opened up the 'trap' door on the L-1011's cockpit which led down into a small pit with a scope in it to see if the forward gear was down. Repo, being the flight engineer, should've been at his post, and the ground-collision chime went on, but he wasn't there to listen to it. Just as he looked through the periscope and saw the landing gear lights and was about to utter that it was indeed down... BOOM! The 370,000 lb jet smashed into the swamplands. The L-1011's airframe absorbed most of the shock, but muchismo passengers died. Burt Stockstill died on impact, Capt. Loft survived the impact, but died before the rescue teams could get there, Both Repo and Donadeo survived the impact and were rescued, but Repo died in the hospital several days later. Donadeo helped shed light on what happened.

-Much of the cabin equipment was intact, and due to Lockheed's production problems, most of these parts were slapped on to N318EA.

-During a flight on N318EA, one of the stewardesses was horrified when she saw an apparition of an Eastern Airlines flight crew in the lower-deck galley. She thought she was hallucinating, so she asked another flight crew member down there, the other stewardess confirmed the apparition. The flight engineer went down there after hearing all the commotion and also saw the apparition. He recognized it as Don Repo, whom he knew earlier. He managed to communicate with him. The Repo apparition stated that an engine fire would occur on this aircraft. The flight engineer managed to get it accross to Eastern Airlines, who decided to be on the safe side and take out the No. 2 engine, and ferry the aircraft without passengers to another location. About a few weeks to a month later, the aircraft took off, A FIRE OCCURED IN THE NO. 3 ENGINE! Had they flew the aircraft with the regular 3 engines, they would have had 2 engines, but now they only have one! They luckily didn't clear 400 feet, immeadiately effected a go-around and landed.

On another flight, a stewardess saw Capt. Loft sitting in the first class cabin. She wanted to ask him something, something didn't feel right, she must have lost herself in her thoughts, when she came to it, he wasn't there! He just up and disappeared.

Anyways, a series of components from those L-1011's were shipped to Delta, including some entire aircraft. They may carry the "ghosts".

-And to Dazed767, N740DA was shipped directly to Delta. I believe N336EA was converted to N790DA. N740DA is an L-1011-250. Also, all L-1011's have a personality all their own. Some are really quiet, some are excruciatingly loud (N741DA is a great aircraft, so is N736DY, and N1737D, they are really quiet. The others have varying degrees of quietness, but some are just amazingly loud.). L-1011's are still my favorite aircraft. If only they developed some more long-ranged versions...

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RE: Here's The Story

Sun Aug 22, 1999 9:21 am

Didn't N318EA went to Cathay Pacific? I'm quite sure...
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You We're Right Lancer

Sun Aug 22, 1999 2:03 pm

I was on N790DL. It was built in 1977. Sorry for emailing some of you asking you, asking when it was built.
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RE: Haunted Delta L-1011s

Sun Aug 22, 1999 5:05 pm

Last year I worked as a cargo tech for Tradewinds International in GSO, the curent operator of N311EA, sister to the ill-fated N310EA. Familiar with the stories, I was excited to get the chance to do some ghostbusting.

Although I spent a great deal of time on that plane (most after midnight, too!) I never saw any ghosts hiding behind LD-3 cans in the belly, or anything else out of the ordinary. No one else at the airline had any other strange stories, either. Either the ghosts are at peace now or they don't dare be seen on a lowly cargo plane.

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