A History of Disappearing Flights: Amelia Earhart, The Bermuda Triangle, MH370 and Others

The two planes that disappeared this year are far from the first to vanish.

ByABC News
December 29, 2014, 3:59 PM

— -- The latest disappearance of a commercial airline in Asia comes just nine months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished and they are far from the first to get lost in the air.

In what seems like a tragic case of deja vu, the world's top aviation experts and investigators are actively working to find the AirAsia jet that is believed to have run into bad weather somewhere over the Java Sea.

While there has been no sign of any crash site yet, the response team is headed into Day Three of the search on Tuesday.

As the search for MH370 remains active in the Indian Sea, this weekend's disappearance comes as the latest in a growing list of aircrafts that has seemingly vanished from the sky. Here are some of the most infamous cases.

Amelia Earhart (1937)

America's most famous missing pilot, Amelia Earhart, took off in 1937 on what she hoped would be the first female-piloted circumnavigational flight. She had previously become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

During a descent while in the Pacific Ocean, Earhart radioed that she could not see her landing strip and was running low on gas. Her plane was never found and questions remain today about what really happened to Earhart.

Bermuda Triangle (1940s through 1960s)

Flight 19, made up of a fleet of five Navy torpedo bombers training over the Atlantic in December 1945, disappeared halfway through their training exercise more than 100 miles off the cost of Florida. A search and rescue plane sent to look for them also disappeared.

A slew of planes disappeared in the area known as the Bermuda triangle between the years of 1945 and 1970, including one plane with 32 people on board that was never found.

Pan Am Flight 7 (1957)

On Nov. 8, 1957, Pan Am Flight 7 was en route from San Francisco to Hawaii when it vanished in the Pacific Ocean. The Boeing 337 plane wreckage was found a week later by the Navy aircraft carrier Philippine Sea, which spotted bodies and plane debris floating off course in the ocean northeast of Honolulu.

The crash, which killed 44 people, has never been definitively determined. The mystery was exacerbated by the fact that no distress signals were sent and toxicology reports revealed higher than normal carbon monoxide levels in the bodies of recovered passengers.

Flying Tiger Line (1962)

A U.S. military plane carrying 90 soldiers disappeared during a flight from Guam to the Philippines and left no trace of wreckage or a mayday call.

Stolen Angola Plane (2003)

A Boeing 727 took off from Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda, Angola without clearance or a flight plan on May 25, 2003. The plane, which wasn't painted with an airline logo, hasn't been seen since.

According to the FBI, it was once part of the fleet of a major airline, however it had since been outfitted to carry diesel fuel. Officials said they believed Ben Charles Padilla, an aviation engineer and pilot, may have been on the plane when it disappeared.

Air France Flight 447 (2009)

One of the deadliest crashes in recent history came in 2009 when 228 people died on board an Air France flight from Rio de Janiero to Paris that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009.

Though Brazilian authorities found the first pieces of evidence from the crash site less than a week after the crash, the depth of the ocean and the scatter of the debris meant that it took much longer to formally conclude the investigation.

The search for the plane continued for nearly two years, however, since the black boxes were not recovered until May 2011. The final report on the investigation was not released for another year on top of that.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (2014)

The first aviation catastrophe of the year came when Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared shortly after taking off in Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on March 8. There has been no trace of the plane or any of the 239 people on board ever since and the search is ongoing.

The drama and confusion surrounding this particular crash came from the fact that the plane, which was traveling in clear skies, the search area changed directions completely once tracking data showed that the plane made a significant and unplanned turn away from the scheduled flight path and towards the Indian Ocean.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501

The latest air tragedy occurred early Sunday morning when an AirAsia jet lost contact with air traffic control over the Java Sea during a flight to Singapore shortly after the pilots requested a change of flight plan because of weather.

The flight had at least 162 people on board.

"We currently suspect that plane is located on the ocean floor," Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, announced in a news conference on Sunday.

ABC News' Liz Fields contributed to this report.