Disasters In The Air

English: National Transportation Safety Board ...

English: National Transportation Safety Board image of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 – It is a still of This video (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14 years ago today, on January 31, 2000, an Alaska Airlines MD-83 crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Point Mugu, California. All 88 passengers and crew aboard were killed.

Disasters—natural or man-made— have the potential to terminate hundreds or even thousands of lives in an instant. These kinds of events may or may not strike with warning. Air crash disasters very often occur following a rapid sequence of events, usually involving a mechanical malfunction or communication failure which have severely disabled a craft’s ability to recover or sustain propulsion to continue. This terrible time, possibly just minutes, is about all the on-board crew and passengers have in the way of a warning.

Victims of air crashes are typically very badly injured, often more so by the intense fire and heat, than the trauma of the crash’s final impact. Unfortunately, recovery of the victims’ remains is a slow process, due to verification on multiple levels to ensure accurate identification of each person.

These sudden deaths are especially difficult for the families who survive the losses. The grief process is complicated by intense shock, disbelief, and complete lack of anticipation or preparation for the possibility of such an event. Further difficulty arises when there is no possibility of viewing the body, which is important in beginning the grief process, in accepting that the death is real. People who must mourn the loss of a loved one through a sudden and traumatic death are encouraged to seek counseling from well-qualified grief counselors.

©C.S. Thompson, 2013-14.

English: Path of Alaska Airlines Flight 261| b...

English: Path of Alaska Airlines Flight 261| before crash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

US Navy 000202-N-5961C-007 Alaska Airlines 261...

US Navy 000202-N-5961C-007 Alaska Airlines 261 recovery operations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sundial memorial for the Alaska Airlines Fligh...

Sundial memorial for the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash the January 31st, off the coast of California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But what then, does one do if they have a loved one on a flight that simply vanishes?
We’ll speak more about unresolved grief at another time, but we wanted our readers to know that we found a case, about a flight full of passengers, that for no explanation or logical one anyway, simply…disappeared. 
From “Wiki” here:
1951 Canadian Pacific Air Lines Douglas DC-4 disappearance
At 18:35 the DC-4 departed Vancouver International AirportCanada on a scheduled flight to Tokyo; it was due to stop over at Anchorage Airport in Alaska.[2] The flight was on schedule and reported at the Cape Spencer intersection in British Columbia 90 minutes out from Anchorage; it gave an estimate of 24:00 for Yakutat in Alaska.[1][2] The weather in the area was heavy rain and icing conditions with a visibility of 500 feet.[2] Nothing further was heard from the aircraft, and at 00:44 an emergency warning was issued when the aircraft was overdue to report.[1] The United States Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force carried out an extensive search but failed to find any trace of the aircraft or its 37 occupants.[1] The search was finally called off on 31 October 1951.[1]
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9 Responses to “Disasters In The Air”

  1. Makes you wonder how a plane and all its passengers can just up and disappear? [off topic – thank you for the Doolittle pix,(they will be used), but I must warn you about doing that. I am not the person using that email and usually anyone not in my contact list – ends up getting spammed and deleted. Thank you for you interest and effort on my part – credit will be given to you when I post them]

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    • Oh no! Sorry. Yes well the remaining Doolittle’s Raiders gathered in November. No credit to me necessary! I figured this was your arena of expertise, you may do with it what you wish my friend. Peace be with you!
      As for people disappearing like that, lots of them have, as over the oceans and unsearchable zones. But over land? That really stumped me, too!Thanks for your thoughts, it is always such a pleasure when you stop in!

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  2. Whilst I feel for those who lost someone aboard MD-83 as I do for anyone who suffers a loss, I think it must be much worse for those whose loved ones were aboard the DC4. The not knowing must gnaw at people for a very long time especially when the flight was so close to it’s stopover. Without any wreckage it may be hard for people to prove to insurance companies that someone is dead and I suspect that people’s imaginations must wonder if they are. In 1951 belief in things like the Bermuda Triangle would have been quite strong.
    xxx Massive Hugs to you both xxx

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    • Yes, that Flight in 1951 originated in July…they finally quit searching in October of the same year. Nowadays, though, it’s easier to get a court judge to rule a person declared dead for purposes of insurance and all of that. I was actually quite amazed that Steve Forbes’ wife did that only a month or so after he went missing after taking on in the Sierra Nevada. His body was recovered a few months later, but I thought she acted rather quickly to get him declared officially dead. But then again, he had an awful lot of business and $$$ to be handled so I suppose they had to get it squared away a.s.a.p.
      It’s hard to fathom a plane and people going down and NOT A TRACE left.
      Hugs, CJ and Mousie xxxx

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      • Steve Forbes is still very much alive…I can’t remember the guy you are referring to, but it’s not Steve…I’m pretty sure I saw him on TV 2-3 weeks ago, (unless I’m going crazy)

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        • ***James Stephen “Steve” Fossett (April 22, 1944 – c. September 3, 2007) was an American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer. He was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon. He made his fortune in the financial services industry, and was best known for many world records, including five nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth: as a long-distance solo balloonist, as a sailor, and as a solo flight fixed-wing aircraft pilot***

          Egads! May have gotten wrong guy…Now I must check name…the guy who flew in the balloon, or attempted to…gosh! I hope someone can come up with it before I can get back with it. The man was famous for his wealth and his interest in flying…he actually borrowed the plane he crashed in from another well-heeled person of similar renown. I thought he was also tied to Branson’s ventures, as well. Foster?

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  3. A chilling read…x

    Like

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