Awesome or Off-Putting: The Haunted Plane Parts of EA Fight 401

Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, ancient artifacts, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.

101 people died when Eastern Airlines flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades. It was a horrible accident caused when the crew became so concerned with a faulty landing gear light that they failed to notice the auto pilot had turned off. Down it came – and then boom!

77 people survived the initial crash – as did some plane parts. These plane parts became spares which were eventually installed on other aircraft – with a spooky side effect. Ghosts have been seen on the recipient planes – lots of ghosts.

When Eastern Airlines flight 401 crashed in the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, the world new it was a travesty. What we didn’t know though, was that when that metal crunched and twisted a weird paranormal smorgasbord was born. sets the background:

“On the night of Friday, December 29th, 1972 Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was carrying 176 people as it neared it’s destination of the Miami Airport. Flying the L – 1011 jumbo jet were Captain Bob Loft and Second Officer Don Repo, who were engaged in routine landing procedures when a warning light flashed on the control panel indicating a problem with the landing gear. It is possibly that this is the reason neither of them noticed that the plane was actually descending around 200 feet per minute faster than what they thought. Seconds later the airliner slammed into the Florida Everglades, killing 101 people immediately. Both Captain Loft and Officer Repo survived the initial impact, but both were mortally wounded. Captain Loft died before he could be pulled from the burning, twisted wreck and Officer Repo died a day later.”

And then the ghost stories started – and there are tons of them. The John G Fuller Book The Ghost of Flight 401 throws some of them out Gatling style:

At JFK Airport where an L-1011 was being turned around from a flight to Miami it was reported that a vice president of Eastern Airlines who had boarded the plane ahead of the regular passengers spoke to an Eastern Airlines captain in uniform who was sitting in the First Class section. During the conversation the vice president suddenly realized he was talking to Bob Loft, who had died in the earlier crash. At that point Loft simply vanished and disappeared. A search of the plane was made and no sign of the captain was found. The vice president has not revealed his name.

At JFK again it was Captain Bob Loft who was seen by a captain and his two flight attendants. They apparently talked to him before he disappeared, causing the flight to be cancelled. Again, the captain has refused to give a name.

An unnamed flight attendant opened one of the overhead compartments during a check of the First Class cabin and came eyeball to eyeball with Bob Loft’s face. Another flight attendant at Miami opened a door in the galley oven compartement and saw the face of Second Officer Don Repo looking out at her.

While caterers were loading plane 318, the most haunted of the L-1011s following the crash, there was a commotion when the catering crew left the plane saying they wouldn’t come back. Apparently they had seen the flight engineer standing in the galley and he had disappeared leaving the crew ‘very excitable’
During a flight of plane 318 a male voice came over the PA announcing the seatbelt and no smoking precautions, yet noone on the crew had made the announcement and the PA system had not been in use.

During another flight of plane 318 from Atlanta to Miami, the crew heard a knocking coming from the hellhole below the cockpit (which had been heavily implicated in the original crash of Flight 401). The engineer peered into the cramped workspace and saw Don Repo looking at him.

A flight engineer doing the preflight inspection of an L-1011 saw a man in an Eastern Airlines second officers uniform sitting in his seat at the engineering panel. The engineer recognised Don Repo and the apparition said to him ‘you don’t need to worry about the preflight, i’ve already done it’. The apparition then disappeared in front of the engineer.

A stewardess in the lower galley of an L-1011 found that one oven indicated an overloaded circuit and a man in an engineer’s uniform appeared to fix it. Another flight engineer appeared later and insisted he was the only one on the plane. The flight attendant; looking at Don Repo’s photograph identified him as the man who had first fixed the oven.

One captain from the flight of an L-1011 spoke to Repo who commented ‘there will never be another crash of an L-1011. We will not let it happen again.’

A female passenger in the First Class section of the plane 318 which was still sitting on the runway found herself sitting next to an Eastern Airlines flight officer in uniform. The required head count of passengers had not yet taken place. The engineer apparently looked sick and pale and the passenger tried to speak to him, but he would not respond. The woman called to the stewardess who agreed that the flight officr seemed ill, then in front of several other passengers as well as these two, the flight engineer simply disappeared leaving the woman completely hysterical. Shown photos of Eastern Flights crew, she picked out Don Repo.

And there you have it. A sad story of terror and death – leading to a crazy amount of alleged paranormal sightings. For those already afraid of flying – it’s a whole list of new reasons.

Your welcome.

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  1. Moe says

    My wife was a flight attendant for years and spoke with a couple of other attendants who, on seperate occassions did see and interact with the ghosts of the flight crew before they disappeared.Neither of them ever reported the incidents for fear of being relieved of their positions. Shortly afterwards she followed the same course that those she spoke with and quit flying.