D.B. Cooper and Northwest Airlines Flight 305
While this wasn’t a crash, it’s still one of the craziest unsolved mysteries involving aviation back on November 24th, 1971. Known as “Dan Cooper”. he hopped aboard the plane in Portland, Oregon. He demanded that the airline give him $200,000, four parachutes, and a refueling truck in Seattle, Washington. Upon receiving his demands, D.B. Cooper released all 36 passengers unharmed. After refueling, he was finally back in the air with the intention of going to Mexico, but ultimately decided with the crew that a second refueling would happen in Reno, Nevada.
Shortly after takeoff, it was determined that Cooper jumped off the plane after warning lights flashed on the dashboard and air pressure changed. Flight 305 was searched at the airport and Cooper wasn’t anywhere on it. Cooper, and the $200,000 he left with, has never been found.
Flight 19 and the Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle is arguably the biggest mystery of aviation. Five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, classified as Flight 19, all disappeared in the area between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. An investigation from the Navy ultimately found Charles C. Taylor, who navigated the planes, not guilty of the incident because there was no evidence found that could link him to navigation issues.
All that’s known is Taylor mistakenly thought he passed over the Florida Keys and instead went over the Bahamas (as scheduled). There were also compass malfunctions on the plane. All 13 crew members of the plane are assumed dead. Interestingly enough, a PBM Mariner that was a search and rescue aircraft for Flight 19 also disappeared. Reports say that there was an explosion seen by witnesses and the Mariner was prone to explosion when fully loaded with fuel.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
One of the most interesting mysteries happened in 2014, when Flight 370 disappeared on March 8th when heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. All 239 passengers and crew are still considered missing but are presumed dead. No clues to wreckage or debris has been found. Search efforts began at the Gulf of Thailand when Flight 370’s signal was first lost. What hasn’t helped in the disappearance was speculation on when the plane exactly disappeared. The Malaysian government concludes that the flight ” ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
It’s been a tragic year for Malaysia Airlines, who had another tragedy in July that saw Flight 17 go down — another Boeing 777. All 298 passengers and crew die after being shot down over Ukraine.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501
All 162 crew and passengers died in the recent ill-fated flight from Indonesia to Singapore. Radar contact was lost 40 minutes after takeoff and was officially declared missing after another 40 minutes had passed. Flight 8501 missed its scheduled stop at Singapore approximately one hour and 55 minutes after takeoff.
After reports of debris and wreckage in the Karimata Strait, search and rescue were left picking up the pieces of some of the aircraft and found bodies in the water. Efforts of piecing together the tragic night are still in progress. It’s anticipated that bad weather played a large role in taking down Flight 8501, with a report from Indonesian meteorological experts saying that icing could have caused engine damage/malfunction.