Bermuda Triangle - Flight 19
One of the most famous Bermuda Triangle disappearances involves Flight 19. Happening in 1945, this took place in a modern era of radio communication and radar.
This flight involved five bombers that were stationed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Four of the five bombers was pilotted by trainees. On December 5 1945, the group flew a training mission out over the Bermuda Triangle area. The bombers, known as "Iron Birds", were a very heavy 14,000 pounds each.
The flight left at 2pm, with about 6 hours of fuel. The weather turned cloudy and rainy, and by 4pm the base heard the lead pilot calling to one of the other pilots, saying that he was having problems with his compass. This is typical for the Triangle, as magnetic issues with the region are well known. In addition, as they were out of sight of land, the lead pilot got disoriented and thought he was over the Keys, when actually he was probably over islands east of Florida. As a result, the more he tried to fly north "back to Florida", the more out to sea he got.
Transmission between the other planes indicates that the other pilots had figured this out - but that the leader refused to listen and stubbornly lead them on. The ground stations tried their best to help out. Through careful work, the ComGulf Sea Frontier Evaluation Center managed to get a positional fix on the group, east of Florida. But the pilots were so far from land that they could not hear the messages sent to them.
Unfortunately for the group, the planes never made it back to land. By the time they ran out of fuel, it would have been quite dark in heavy seas.
The weather was so bad that even the search / rescue attempts were hampered. One of the planes sent out to search crashed into the sea and was lost - this was a PBM plane.
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