The 727 that vanished (stolen)



I just read an article this evening about a former American Airline 727 that was stolen 8 years ago.  I came across the article from Kent Wien’s “Cockpit Chronicles” blog that he writes.  Kent was a former Flight Engineer on this aircraft “back in the day” when one had to start as Flight Engineer and work up to First Officer.

Anyway, the 727 had only just been retired from American Airlines and was in mint condition.  It was leased and taken to Luanda for what turns out to be possibly the dodgiest operation I have ever heard of (transporting diesel in tanks).  Pic below is courtesy of mahoney

When reading this article, you realise when times are bad just how desperate crews can be to work, but also the sorts of airlines and operations that exist in the world.  A lot of developing countries fly old aircraft that are not well maintained and therefore, are on a banned-list from operating to places like Europe.

About 5 years ago my wife was going to travel on one of these airlines on a domestic hop in the Far East, however I would not let her due to this airline being on several banned-lists and instead booked her a Thai Airways (or something similarly better known) flight.

Here is the link, it makes a good read although it can be difficult to follow as it is over 6 pages and requires recalling the names of each of the people involved.

There is a theory that this aircraft was involved with a drugs run from South America to Mali, where it landed in the desert and was then set on fire.  Essentially though, no one knows what happened to it, the only people who can instigate an investigation are the country where it happened, and Luanda don’t really seem to care what happened to it to be honest.

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~ by globalste on November 16, 2011.

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