EgyptAir Flight 804, which went missing on Thursday, reportedly fell 22,000 feet and turned toward Egyptian airspace before it vanished off-radar.
Speaking about the disappearance of the plane, which was carrying 66 people on board, Greece’s Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said at a news conference, “The plane carried out a 90-degree turn to the left and a 360-degree turn to the right, falling from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and the signal was lost at around 10,000 feet. It appears the plane is lost. There are no clear results (from the search) so far.”
As reported by Discovery News, the plane in question, flying from Paris to Cairo, is believed to have gone missing approximately 130 nautical miles from the island of Karpathos. Around 25 minutes before the plane went off the radar, the pilot had informed Greek flight controllers about not having any problem, according to the Greek civil aviation agency.
“The flight controllers contacted the pilot (with the plane) at a height of 37,000 feet (near Athens)… he did not mention a problem,” civil aviation chief Constantinos Litzerakos told Antenna TV. “We tracked the entire process from the plane’s entry (into Greek airspace) to its exit, it does not appear to deviate at all from the coordinates we gave.”
The missing plane brought memories of the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370. Flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the flight was carrying 239 passengers on board. According to Forbes, the search operation for the missing MH370 will be brought to an end in July, chief commissioners of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Martin Dolan said. Although the search has been called, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the plane remains.
There have been other tragedies like EgyptAir Flight 804 and Malaysia Airlines MH370 that involved disappearance of planes. As reported by the Week, following are a few planes that went missing and left behind barely a trace.
- The Lockheed Model 10 Electra of Amelia Earhart went missing over the central Pacific Ocean in 1937. She was declared dead in 1939, after a multi-million search effort could not recover any remnants of her plane.
- Stunt pilot Art Scholl disappeared after his Pitt S-2 camera plane crashed during the filming of the movie Top Gun. The crash occurred after Scholl took a sharp turn and plunged into the ocean. The plane was never recovered.
- Air France Flight 447 flying from Rio De Janeiro to Paris crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. Parts of the plane – which was carrying 228 passengers and crew, all of whom were killed in the tragedy – were found upon searching; but bodies of 74 passengers were never discovered. A combination of ice buildup, mechanical failure and pilot terror are factors believed to have caused the crash.
- In the 1940s, numerous planes went missing in the area between Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda – also called as Bermuda Triangle. The mysteries as to the disappearances have bemused and baffled several historians and conspiracy theorists. In 1948 and 1949, two British South American Airways passenger jets went missing in the area.