Airborne Transport's NC16002 Disappears
The disappearance of the Airborne Transporter DC-3 airliner, NC16002 occurred the night of December 28, 1948 near the end of a scheduled flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida (c. 1,030 mi./1,657 km.). The aircraft carried 29 passengers and three crew members. No probable cause for the loss was determined by the official investigation and it remains unsolved.
NC16002, the registration of this DC-3, landed at San Juan at 7:40 p.m. the night of the 27th en route from Miami. Stewardess Mary Burkes deplaned the passengers while copilot, Ernest Hill, went over the routine checks.
Robert Linquist informed the local repair crew that the landing light did not come on to indicate the landing gear was locked. The repair crew discovered the batteries to be low on water and refilled them. However, they said it would take several hours to recharge the batteries to optimum level. Linquist didn’t want to wait that long, so he said he would recharge them in flight.
On December 28, 1948, an Airborne Transporter DC-3 airliner, NC16002 was traveling from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida when, towards the end of its flight, off the eastern coast of Florida, the aircraft, along with its 29 passengers and 3 crew members disappeared without any trace and explanation. Even though its official report offers no probably cause for its disappearance, the flight data for NC16002 showed that even before take off in San Juan, the aircraft ran into some problems. The aircraft, after traveling its Miami-San Juan leg was bound towards San Juan-Miami but pilot Robert Linquist informed repair crew the aircraft’s landing gear warning light was not functioning and the plane’s batteries were low on battery water and was not charging.
The disappearance of the Airborne Transport DC-3 airliner, NC16002 occurred near the end of a scheduled flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida. The aircraft carried 29 passengers and three crew members. No probable cause for the loss was determined by the official investigation and it remains unsolved.
The plane was captained by pilot Robert Linquist who informed local repair crewmen that a landing gear warning light was not functioning and that the aircraft batteries were discharged but was unwilling to delay the scheduled takeoff. The weather was fine with high visibility as it took off but it did not respond to subsequent calls from San Juan.