Flight 401

Mystery Flights

On December 19, 1972 the Eastern Airlines Flight 401 L-1011 jumbo jet crashed in the Florida Everglades killing all 100 passengers and crew aboard.  The Captain Robert Loft and Engineer Dan Repo survived the initial crash but succumbed to their wounds eventually.  Loft while still in the cockpit and Repo many hours later while in the hospital.  It is not known for sure what brought the flight down but it was suspected that both mechanical problems and crew error were to blame.  To save money Eastern Airlines salvaged some of the wreckage and used it in other planes of its fleet.  It was then that the sightings of Loft and Repo began on other Eastern Airlines flights.

Often passengers would see the apparitions of the ill fated crew of Flight 401 all over the plane at night and during the day.  Reports were filed but Eastern Airlines decided to try and keep the situation as quiet as possible.  Soon flight crews started reporting encounters with Loft and Repo.  One attendant reported a Flight Engineer who fixed some faulty wiring on an oven.  When approached by the actual Flight Engineer on that flight she was told she had to be mistaken since he was the only one on board.  It was not until she identified the face of Dan Repo that something paranormal was suspected.

Sightings of Captain Loft were numerous.  One such account placed him in the first class section of a flight.  When the attendant asked why his name was not on the passenger list and he did not respond she sought help from her supervisor who promptly came to question the passenger.  It was then that the supervisor recognized the apparition as Loft. Other occasions saw him warning of impending danger from flight to flight, from faulty wiring to warnings of fires and issues in the hydraulics.  It seemed that Loft was preventing just those things that took down his plane.

The reports became so numerous on Eastern flights and even those planes that Eastern leased out that the salvaged parts were removed.  Log sheets regarding the sightings and all other evidence seem to have been lost.  To this day the sightings are still a mystery. The story was published in 1976 in a book by John G. Fuller called The Ghost of Flight 401.

Recommended Reading

Ghosts of Flight 401