- WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior
U.S. official confirms that the government of Angola has reported a missing
Boeing 727 aircraft.
- The plane apparently departed
from Angola several days ago on a flight to Burkina Faso, in northwestern
Africa, but it never made it to its destination, and its whereabouts are
unknown, this official said.
- The official said there is "no evidence or information
to suggest this is terrorist-related," and suggested "it is most
likely criminal." According to this official, the plane was leased,
and the people involved were behind in their payments.
- U.S. law enforcement and the intelligence community are
working with the Angolan government to help determine what happened to
the plane. When asked if there had been any intelligence from the region
suggesting any terrorist activity related to a plane, the official said,
"Nothing I'm aware of."
- U.S. officials have recently expressed concern that al
Qaeda could use aircraft to carry out a terrorist attack against U.S. interests
- Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security
issued an advisory to the U.S. aviation community citing "recent reliable
reports" indicating al Qaeda was in the final stages of planning an
aerial suicide attack against the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
According to a source who read the notice, it noted "al Qaeda's continuing
fixation with using explosive-laden small aircraft (HIPAKISTAN.com)
- May 30, 2003
- A Boeing 727 plane has gone missing on a flight in Africa
and the Angolan government says it has no idea what happened to the aircraft.
- A US official has confirmed the plane's disappearance
after it left Angola on a flight to Burkina Faso in north west Africa,
but failed to arrive at its destination, according to a CNN report.
- The official told the news organization that there was
"no evidence or information to suggest this is terrorist-related,"
and suggested "it is most likely criminal." According to the
report, the people involved with leased plane were behind with their payments.
- US intelligence agencies are working with the Angolan
government to discover what happened to the aircraft. It is not stated
how many people were on board the vanished flight.
- Angolan government recommended on Friday the "Urgent
Conclusion" of the inquiry on the illegal taking off, on Sunday May
25, of an airplane from the "4 de Fevereiro" international airport.
The government also recommended the setting up of a multisectorial commission
to study, evaluate and propose the adoption of measures aimed at reinforcing
security in the airports of the country. The Angolan minister for transports,
AndrÈ LuÌs Brand"o, assured that the inquiry is being
done and that in his department "The results of inquiries are always
published", adding that it was a very unusual case AndrÈ LuÌs
Brand"o stressed that this situation will call for urgent and efficient
measures to be taken to keep order and security in the "4 de Fevereiro"
- The airplane, which had a USA number plate (N844AA),
was in the country working for a company called "Air Angola"
- Aircraft Transponder Code 52707266
- Voice of America
- By Alex
- Authorities in Africa and the United States are looking
for a Boeing 727 jet missing from Angola since late last month under suspicious
- The Boeing 727 has been missing since it took off under
mysterious circumstances from Luanda airport in the southwest African country
of Angola more than two weeks ago.
- U.S. government officials tell VOA it was last heard
of requesting landing permission in the Seychelles off the coast of East
Africa but never arrived there. The officials, speaking on condition of
anonymity, say the aircraft's disappearance looks like a criminal act.
- But with memories still fresh of the bloody September
11 terrorist plane hijackings in the United States almost two years ago,
the officials say they have to remain open to the possibility that terrorism
may be involved in the case of the vanishing 727.
- Authorities in Angola say the plane took off illegally
on Sunday, May 25. The country's minister of transportation later indicated
the aircraft's disappearance would lead to stepped up security at Luanda
- The plane was brought to Angola by a firm called Air
Angola. According to VOA's Portuguese service, that firm is owned by a
group of current and former high-ranking military officials.
- However the Boeing 727 had been parked idle at the airport
for more than a year for non-payment of some $4 million in fees to Angola's
- Some U.S. officials say they suspect the plane may have
been flown off to avoid repossession. Others tell VOA they believe it may
have been crashed for insurance purposes.
- According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration,
the plane was built in 1975. Although it was originally operated by American
Airlines, according to FAA records, its latest registered owner was an
aircraft leasing firm based in Miami, Florida.
- Efforts to contact the firm were unsuccessful. The telephone
number for the company has been disconnected.
- An FAA spokesman had no new information on the plane
or the firm. He told VOA firms are legally obliged to inform the agency
of address changes and any transfers in aircraft ownership. But the spokesman
conceded that does not always happen and he could not rule out the possibility
the plane may have been sold to foreign owners.
- Curiously, despite the FAA records, other U.S. government
officials said the plane belongs to an American who lives in South Africa
who leased the aircraft to others. These officials provided no additional
- Jet Photos.com has similar data to the FAA database but
with pictures showing an aircraft with the tail # N844AA in American Airlines
Colors the link below shows aircraft engine data/operators/etc
- This link shows the jet in 1998 and 2001
- This link shows Export Data
- This link is to the searchable Tail # database
- The FAA Data base shows the owner of this aircraft to
- AEROSPACE SALES & LEASING CO INC
Street 9990 SW 77TH AVE PH 9 City
MIAMI State FLORIDA
Zip Code 33156-2661
- Data Compiled By Stan Bernard
Note from Stan -- Just to let you know some interesting things are happening.
Data on and pictures of this Boeing 727 is disappearing. Pictures of the
aircraft from 1980 and 2001 taken in Miami have been removed from Jet.Photos.net
replaced with blank place holders. The N number is still there the picture
is not. Revising historical data to forestall any possible contradictory
- Sadly I did not take them when I started checking so
I have only my imperfect memory to detect changes if any are made.
- There is a story here.