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African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.


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Old 5th Jun 2013, 10:22   #61 (permalink)


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On May 25, 2003 a ex American Airlines 727 was stolen from Luanda, Angola:
Boeing 727-223
Registraion: ???
S/N: 20985
Vanished on 25 May 2003 in Luanda, Angola
History: N844AA

According to an article at History of Flight, Aviation, Space Exploration | AirSpaceMag.com the 727 should have been ferried to South Africa on May 26, 2003.

On May 25, 2003 shortly before sunset, the 727 started to taxi, making some erratic movemens and finally took of

with no lights and the ATC transponder switched off. Witnesses reported that the aircraft flew a south west heading shortly after takeoff. That was the last time N844AA had been seen.
Some reports claim that the airplane had been shot down by the Angolian Air Force, or that it crashed into the ocean. Other sources claims that the airplane vanished near Kinshasa or that it has been seen in a hanger Bujumbura.
Could it be possible that the airplane technican who dissapeared together with the 727 tried to flew the airplane to South Africa?

Around June 2003 a 727 registrated 3X-GOM had been seen by Mr. Strother in Conakry. He reported that parts of the former US registration where visible. In fact he said that the last two letters (AA) where visible. But there are a lot of former American Airline 727 in Africa:

727 operated by UTA (Union des Transports Africains)
Boeing 727-223
Registration: 3X-GDO
S/N: 21370
Crashed on 25 December 2003 in Cotonou, Benin.
History: N865AA, YA-FAK, 3D-FAK, 3X-GDO

Boeing 727-223
Registration: 3X-GDM
S/N: 21089
Unknowen status.
History: N862AA, 3X-GDM, 3D-AAK

It turned out that the 727 he saw was not the missing 727.

Boeing 727 wreck in Mali Desert:
Thre are some pictures on the internet showing a buned out 727 wreck in the desert of Mali. According to press releases it has been used to carry drugs from South America to Africa. Well, it is possible to fly with a 727 from South America to Africa with a few stops for refueling. Cotonou airport could be used as a refueling stop for example.
What is intresting about this wreck is the fact that it is heavily destroyed and shows signs of an impact. For example the section 41 is ripped of the fuselage, the landing gear lies next to the fuselage and so on.

According to press releases the airplane was set on fire after the cargo has been unloaded, but it looks like that the airplane had crashed either during landing or during the following takeoff.
Nothing is knowen about the serial number or the current registration of this 727.
Is it possible that this airplane wreck was N844AA?

Now two questions:
- what is knowen about the 727 in the desert of Mali?
- could the 727 in the desert of Mali be the missing N844AA?
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 17:39   #62 (permalink)
 
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s/n 21619 wasn't it? mystery jet update: Malian 727 | The Yorkshire Ranter
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 17:57   #63 (permalink)
 
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<<- could the 727 in the desert of Mali be the missing N844AA?>>

That was my first guess. But it's not. This aircraft's history has been pretty well identified.
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 00:39   #64 (permalink)
 
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The whole thing smacks to me as insurance fraud.

Tim - was it clear from your reporting that Maury Jospeh actually received an insurance payout? It seemed he must have, if General Robeson thought it was a viable theory. But the interaction between Joesph and his insurers must have been interesting.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 14:55   #65 (permalink)
 
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The whole thing smacks to me as insurance fraud.

Maury and his son both say no insurance money was ever paid. Maury told me that he was caught in a Catch-22: in order to file a claim he had to prove the airplane was stolen and without the airplane, he couldn't prove that it was.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 17:19   #66 (permalink)
 
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The 727 that Vanished: N844AA

Regarding the Mali 727 do you have a pointer towards its well established history ? Thanks
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:43   #67 (permalink)
 
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<<http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rhinocg/rhino-rig-for-dslr-and-cinema-cameras>>

The airplane is J5-GCU. If you Google that with Mali you'll have almost everything I have.

Also, I think the Yorkshire Ranter has a pretty good summation.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 05:27   #68 (permalink)
 
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Tim - thanks for the update re the Josephs. So, if they were insurance fraudsters, they weren't very competent ones!
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 18:52   #69 (permalink)


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Tim,
You mentioned in your article that you requested FBI records as part of FOIA. Did they ever reply?
Do you know if there was any report from DNIC (Direccao Nacional de Investigacao Criminal)?
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 19:35   #70 (permalink)
 
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FOIAs and the Angolans

<<Tim,
You mentioned in your article that you requested FBI records as part of FOIA. Did they ever reply? >>
...yes, they did but it was years after I filed the request. I got thousands of pages, many heavily redacted.

<<Do you know if there was any report from DNIC (Direccao Nacional de Investigacao Criminal?>>
...I heard a report was written but I never found a copy of it. When I contacted the Angolan CAA, the man who "knew everything" hung up on me as soon as I told him I was looking into the aircraft.
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 01:44   #71 (permalink)


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Angel

Thanks for reply! I wasn't sure you would still monitored thread.
Did FBI report help to solve some of the mysteries?
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 17:41   #72 (permalink)
 
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FOIAs and the Angolans

Jo, sorry for the late reply. Didn't know it was here.

The FBI documents were interesting but about the only thing they revealed is that the FBI didn't know aviation and that there was a turf battle between them and the State Dept. They looked for the airplane with enthusiasm only for a few months. Then the search pretty much faded out. Based on what I have read, I found a few things they missed.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 17:45   #73 (permalink)
 
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Vanishing Airliners: a followup to the theft of N844AA

Air & Space magazine has just published a followup to the theft of N844AA. The new story looks at how large aircraft have been able to disappear without drawing headlines. It also discusses a new Air Force intelligence agency that focuses on civilian aviation all over the world.

History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Air & Space Magazine
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