The 727 that vanished without a trace in 2003


I’ve always found the stories of human error and/or ingenuity most fascinating when it comes to aircraft accidents.

These are some of the cases that stick in my mind (many of which have been on those accident recreation shows…)

Gimli Glider

United Airlines Flight 232, Sioux City

Tenerife Air Disaster

Air Transat Flight 236, Azores Glider

British Airways Flight 539

Aloha Airlines Flight 243, Convertible airplane

Kegworth Air Disaster (not least because I grew up only a few miles away)

Ăśberlingen mid-air collision

Cessna, 727 Collision


There is a movie called Chariot that suggests this plane was used by the CIA for a end of world planning.

Didn’t any of those parts have a VIN stamped on them or something? Given the cost of a large aircraft, one would think at least some of the parts would be traceable?

You would think…but in airline parts there’s merely an FAA requirement that you be able to show where a given part came from in internal certification (i.e., fairly easy to fake). There’s a big problem with fake parts that has caused at least one major crash, Partnair 394.

Counterfeit airplane parts from China are a major problem, and have been found extensively even in the Air Force supply chain.

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