Report: 88 Aircraft Have Disappeared Worldwide Since 1948

Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 08:38 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Eighty-eight aircraft have gone missing without a trace around the world since 1948, the Aviation Safety Network reported on Wednesday.

The network compiled a list of passenger, corporate, cargo, and military transport planes that have vanished without any wreckage, oil slick, or body ever being found.

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Based in Alexandria, Va., the ASN is a private, independent resource of the Flight Safety Foundation that was established in 1996.

The network addresses accidents and safety issues involving airliners, military transport planes, and corporate jets. Its database contains detailed information on more than 10,700 incidents, hijackings, and accidents.

According to the organization's data, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8, is the biggest commercial airliner to have vanished so far, with 239 passengers. The next-largest was a Flying Tiger Line plane carrying 107 passengers. It disappeared in the Pacific Ocean on March 16, 1962.

The oldest of the commercial flights on the list was carrying 31 passengers on a British South American Airways plane, and it vanished in the western Atlantic Ocean on Jan. 30, 1948.

Eleven of the flights were in or near the United States, according to the data. The largest of those had 37 passengers aboard a Canadian Pacific Air Lines flights that crashed near Sitka, Alaska, on June 21, 1951.

The earliest in the United States occurred on Nov. 4, 1948, and was off Cape Spencer, also in Alaska. That Pacific Alaska Air Express flight carried 17 passengers.

The most recent plane to disappear was on July 20, 1979, when a Trans National Airlines jet carrying two passengers vanished off Honolulu.

The biggest years for disappearing flights were 1948 and 1966, with six each, and the 1960s and '70s tied for the decades with the most vanishing planes, with 19 each.

Since the new millennium began, nine flights have vanished without a trace, according to the network.

"The numbers . . . may change, as it is difficult to determine in what cases actual debris has been located, sometimes even after many years," the network said in a press release accompanying the data.

For instance, the network cited a British South American Airways flight with six passengers and five crew members that went missing between Montevideo, Uruguay, and Santiago, Chile, on Aug. 2, 1947. It was found in January 2000.

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