Total Persons on Board:
|George Hamilton, pilot||Pete Rustinberghe, copilot|
|Pauline Lowe, cabin attendant||Barbara Hamilton, cabin attendant|
September 21st, 1978
Reported as "a tropical wave is still south of Haiti, not affecting the, ah, weather in Cuba at all. International forecast wise: just lower scattered to broken cumulous, patchy scattered to broken middle clouds bases around 8 to 10 thousand with isolated thunderstorm and rain shower activity along that route."
From Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Havana, Cuba
Area Believed Crashed:
On approach in Havana
Reason for flight:
Positioning flight to Cuba, to pick up 21 American citrus growers who were there on tour.
Douglas DC-3, registered as N407D
Miami and Havana coordinated an immediate search. USAF and US Coast Guard units raced to the scene, while Cuban air patrol made over-flights within the first hour. By afternoon Coast Guard cutter Steadfast was coordinating the surface effort. The search was expanded to all traffic, plus 4 more cutters, a helicopter and a C-131 with the following cable: ALL SHIPPING STRAITS OF FLORIDA-NICHOLAS CHANNEL ARGOSY AIRLINES FLT. 902 (N407D) IS OVERDUE ON A FLIGHT FROM FORT LAUDERDALE TO HAVANA, CUBA. DESC: WHITE WITH BLUE TRIM. 4 PERSONS ON BOARD. ALL SHIPS ARE REQUESTED TO KEEP A SHARP LOOKOUT FOR DEBRIS, YELLOW LIFE JACKETS. PEOPLE IN THE WATER. SIGNED U.S. COAST GUARD MIAMI, FL.
After three days of searching, no trace of the plane or its crew was found.
Controversy, Theories, and other Trivia:
At 11:15 on the night of the disappearance, the Miami bureau of UPI got a call from a English-speaking man with a Spanish accent. He claimed to represent Hijos De La Estrella Solitaria (Sons of the Solitary Star), a terrorist organization. After finishing his introduction, he said: “We claim full responsibility for the explosion of the DC-3 over Cuban waters,” then hung up.