10 Most Mysterious Airplane Crashes From the History

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has search parties scrambling to find the Boeing 777-200ER jet which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. Ships, surveillance planes, and submarines are sweeping the ocean in a bid to find the missing aircraft. The exploration for Flight 370, which mysteriously vanished early March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, has now been expanded deep into the northern and southern hemispheres. Australian vessels scoured the southern Indian Ocean and China offered 21 of its satellites to help Malaysia in the unprecedented hunt. Over 50 years many planes have disappeared and over 10 air planes had vanished in a mysterious way. In some cases the missing planes have been found crashed and some of them are a mystery for to the day. This infographic made with Creately, about the most 10 mysterious airplane crashes in the history of mankind.

mysterious airplane crashes

10 mysterious airplane crashes

A330 Air Bus

The final report, released at a news conference on 5 July 2012, stated that the aircraft crashed after temporary inconsistencies between the airspeed measurements  likely due to the aircraft’s pilot tubes being obstructed by ice crystals  caused the autopilot to disconnect, after which it stalled and could not recover.

Flight 990

Two weeks after the crash, based the two investigations done by the FBI and National Transportation Safety Board, it was found the crash was caused by deliberate action of the Relief First Officer Gameel Al-Batouti the Egypt Civil Aviation Authority found the crash was caused by mechanical failure of the airplane’s elevator control system.

Flight 571

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as the Andes flight was a chartered flight carrying 45 people, including a rugby union team, their friends, family and associates, that crashed in the Andes on 13 October 1972. More than a quarter of the passengers died in the crash and several others quickly succumbed to cold and injury. Of the 27 who were alive a few days after the accident, another eight were killed by an avalanche that swept over their shelter in the wreckage. The last survivors were rescued on 23 December 1972, more than two months after the crash.

BSAA Star Ariel

On 21 December 1949 the report of the inquiry was issued by the Chief Inspector of Accidents, Air Commodore Vernon Brown, in it he stated that “through lack of evidence due to no wreckage having been found, the cause of the accident is unknown.”

Flight 191

While maintenance issues and not the actual design of the aircraft were ultimately found responsible for the crash, the accident and subsequent grounding of all DC-10s by the Federal Aviation Administration added to an already unfavorable reputation of the DC-10 aircraft in the eyes of the public caused by several other incidents and accidents involving the type. The investigation also revealed other DC-10s with damage caused by the same faulty maintenance procedure.

 BSAA Star Tiger

There was no evidence to suggest that radio failure or navigational error were responsible for the disaster. During the inquiry it was suggested that the Star Tiger had been sabotaged. It also claimed that Prime Minister Clement Attlee had ordered all inquiries into the incidents to be abandoned. In regard to the loss of the Star Tiger, a 2009 theory is that the loss of fuel could have contributed to the plane’s disaster.

Star Dust

The last Morse code message sent by Star Dust was “ETA SANTIAGO 17.45 HRS STENDEC”. The Chilean Air Force radio operator at the Santiago airport described this transmission as coming in “loud and clear” but very fast; as he did not recognize the last word, he requested clarification and heard “STENDEC” repeated twice in succession before contact with the aircraft was lost. In the absence of new clues, the meaning of STENDEC is likely to remain a mystery.

Flight 19

500 pages report was released few months later the plane went missing. This report was subsequently amended “cause unknown” by the Navy after Taylor’s mother contended that the Navy was unfairly blaming her son for the loss of five aircraft and 14 men, when the Navy had neither the bodies nor the airplanes as evidence.

UC 64 – Norseman

The disappearance of Miller was classified as missing in action. There are theories about what happened to Miller’s plane, including the suggestion that he might have been hit by Royal Air Force bombs after an abortive raid on Siegen, Germany. The logbooks of Royal Air Force navigator Fred Shaw recorded that he saw a small, single-engine monoplane spiraling out of control and crashing into the water. However, the actual story of what happened still remains a mystery.

Lockhead Electra 10E

Many researchers believe the Electra ran out of fuel and that Earhart and Noonan ditched at sea. Navigator and aeronautical engineer Elgen Long and his wife Marie K. Long devoted 35 years of exhaustive research to the “crash and sink” theory, which is the most widely accepted explanation for the disappearance. But what happened to her flight is still unknown.

References: Article , Plane Crash Info, Creately Infographics

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Shalin Siriwardhana

Internet marketing enthusiasts and a tech blogger, started working for Creately handling e-marketing and blogging. I love to spend my time playing guitar and computer games when I’m not exploring the world of marketing, you can find me writing at shalin's marketing blog here. Follow @Creately for useful diagramming tips and tutes!


  1. Ari

    Wow! It’s unbelievable how some of those airplanes just disappeared and were never heard from again. Hopefully some day in the future we’ll have the technology to find out what happened to them and where they went, and how to stop airplane crashes in the future.

  2. Jiya Roy

    nice information about missing planes…it just mean we humans are far away from perfection ….we can not even find a missing plan in seas …although we have thousands of satellite in sky…well RIP Missing Persons 🙁

  3. Taufik Hidayat

    This article is very useful for all of us who read it, thank you.

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