Angola 727 Disappearance

Angola 727 Disappearance



A man named Keith Urwin bought this 727-200 from American Airlines, paying $250,000 with $750,000 to be paid within 1 month, a total of $1,000,000. The plane was planned to collect oil for diamond mines in Angola, but then the company pulled out of the deal. Whilst searching for a job involving the plane, all the crew had returned back to the US, leaving the plane to be operated by an all-Angolan crew.
After not receiving their payments, American Airlines sent Ben Padilla to bring the plane home. The issue was, the airplane had been idle for years, with over $3,000,000 in fines owed to the airport. Ben Padilla hired a local mechanic crew to fix up the plane, and that’s where our story starts…

The Incident

At 5PM Local time on May 25, 2003, Ben Padilla and mechanic, John M. Mutantu Boarded the aircraft and took off without contacting ATC. They never returned…


One main issue with the situation was that neither man was trained to fly the 727, where they needed three trained crew to operate. Padilla’s sister, Benita Padilla-Kirkland, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper in 2004 that her family suspected that he was flying the aircraft and feared that he subsequently crashed somewhere in Africa or was being held against his will. In July 2003 a possible sighting of the missing aircraft was reported in Conakry and subsequently conclusively dismissed by the United States Department of State.


Want to learn more about this topic? You can learn more by visiting the Wikipedia Page for the incident, or Half as Interetsing’s YouTube video on the topic.

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Huh…I forgot about that
Almost seems too crazy to be real.
Great read!

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I don’t understand why American airlines sent Mr. Padilla. He only had a PPL.

Anyway, risky business. Like this 727-flying in Africa:


Not sure, maybe there’s some info lying around. I’ll have a look.

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Hahaha sink rate… I don’t think they could care less! Wow that required a lot of skill


There was a civil war at the time, and the government was currupt, keep that in mind…


Yeah no normal airline pilot would do this mission. Reminds me of the airplane repo guys


Yeah, same. I was watching that yesterday


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