Star Dust (airplane)

the airplane of the type Avro 691 Lancastrian 3 dissolved of the society of in the meantime British South American Airways with name star Dust (asterisk deaf) (called in many publications falsely Stardust) and the civilian, international aircraft identification G - AGWH disappeared to 2. August 1947 under for a long time time puzzling circumstances in a snowstorm over the Anden.

A Avro 691 Lancastrian

table of contents

flight process

the airplane was on the day of the crash on the distance Buenos Aires - Mendoza - Santiago de Chile with the flight number C.S.59 without intended intermediate stopassigned and for it the mountain massif of the Anden from east had to cross to west. Despite extremely bad weather conditions with more reduced or no longer existing Bodensicht the pilots had decided none for a direct and EN crossing route and against the rules for suchCases actually intended avoiding straining uses. According to Funktelegrafiemeldung of 17:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): “1700 hrs 32°50' S 68°30' W, Height 20,000 feet, ascending tons of 24,000 feet, speed 194 knots, ETA Santiago 1743 hrs “(positionby 17:00 32°50' south, 68°30' is west, current height of 20,000 foot, rises to 24,000 foot, current speed of 194 knots, supposed arrival time in Santiago de Chile 17:43 clock) rose it for and crossing on a flight altitude of 24,000 foot(feet). Around 17:33 GMT the radio operator of the airport in Santiago received de Chile from the airplane the message: “ETA Santiago 1745 hrs “(arrival time in Santiago 17:45 clock assumed). The last so understood about the soil radio operator in Santiago around 17:41 GMTMessage of board of the airplane read: “ETA Santiago 1745 hrs STENDEC “. The pilot in the Tower found no explanation and it for in such a manner read last message word and its double repetition still given on demand of the Bordfunker became tooa Mysterium. Until today countless different theories about the meaning of this message were set up. A Spanish UFO - magazine used the easily modified form STENDEK even as title.

to the crash

due to the close snowstorm one wentof crash star Dust out, since the pilot, briefly before the connection to the airplane tore off, with its last radio message had indirectly expressed that the Stardust is in the approach flight on Santiago de Chile. Therefore one looked for first thoseapproaches environment of the airport off. But since one did not find wreck parts, one continued to expand the search always. Since under the seven passengers and the family of five crew also an English Ambassador with secret papers was, the British government pushedon a clearing-up of the whereabouts the star Dust.

Despite an intensive search, into which also various mountain ranges were included, not one rubble part was found. The airplane remained verschollen first. In the course of the next years wild rumors developed over the whereabouts,among them also UFO theories and various conspiracy theories because of on board Ambassador present.

discovery of the wreck parts

only over 50 years later, to 23. January 2000, discovered a group of mountain climbers at the foot of the Tupangato an aircraft engine. An expedition team thatexamined Argentine army thereupon the area and found further airplane remnants. On a wreck part the letters “star Dust” were to be recognized. One assumes approximately 10% of the remnants were found.

At a discovered propeller could on the basis the damages andDeformations to be proven that for the moment the aircraft crash the engines with almost the number of revolutions of the cruising speed must have run. From further found airplane rubble parts one could conclude that also the chassis had not driven out yet. From these indications and on the basis thatConsultants close deformation of the wreck parts on a controlled flight with normally running engines directly into the mountain-slope.

For an uncontrolled crash for example due to of engine, propeller or bearing area damage or also for a consciously introduced forced landing so far no reference could are found.

crash causes

the most probable explanation over the cause of accident is the Jetstream. With this phenomenon the pilots had at that time little experience. This extremely strong elevator wind reaches speeds over 200 km/h. If this wind the star Dustagainst blew, which is regarded from today's viewpoint with the weather conditions at that time as very probable, then it the airplane had clearly slowed down, without it had been noticeable to the pilot. Because differently than today the speedometers in airplanes registered at that time onlythe relative speed in relation to the ambient air and not the actual, absolute speed above ground.

Because of the poor visibility by the snowstorm most probably the crew wähnte itself due to applied time and speed already beyond the mountain range, gave thoselast radio message off, with which it announced a prospective landing on the airport of Santiago in four minutes, and introduced descending flight and concomitantly the approach flight. When the machine changed into descending flight, it must the Tupangato frontallyrammed. Experts assume today that the impact took place not in the summit range but been because of somewhat more deeply a Abbhang, whereby thereby in the area present over it an avalanche was released, which buried the airplane rubble with the had an accident passengers then completely.With the time these partially the glacier and some wreck and corpse parts were finally rinsed with the meltwater downhill.

the meaning of the radio signal “STENDEC”

for the possible meaning of the alleged radio signal “STENDEC” that became in the runTime innumerable meaning meanings and theories develops. Subsequently, only three variants are to be shown, which exhibit a to some extent minted plausibility.

variant 1

the radio message from 17:41 clock GMT became in Santiago only 4 minutes before the expected arrivalreceived. The Chilean radio operator in the Tower indicated that the signal sequence was loud and clear, it however “in very fast succession” was sent. There the radio operator in the Tower the word “STENDEC” as the last part of the total message did not understand and, repeated the Bordfunker the star Dust inquired alone this last message part immediately twice directly behind each other, on which with following radio silence the airplane disappeared without trace.

After this hypothetical interpretation variant the Bordfunker of the Stardust, Dennis Harmer, in large hurry, was there heunder strain and large stress stood. Perhaps the crew had briefly noticed its error before the crash nevertheless still and had tried to break descending flight off. In panischer hurry Dennis Harmer would have transmitted therefore the following message:


thus “STENDEC”, which means as much, like “star Dust breaks descending flight”

reads off the English word for descent decent but de s cent, the aeronautical radio-technical abbreviation for this procedure however quite corresponds to the contraction DEK. However announcesitself an airplane never with the abbreviation of its Nicknames received from the airline, here:Star Dust, but if at all with its airplane identification G - AGWH or the flight number C.S.59.

variant 2

the Morse code of the wordSTENDEC is almost identical to from STR DEK, which represented at the time at that time in the “radio operator language” an abbreviation of “STARTING THE CENT”, quite usual, to the Fliegerei.

... - . -. -.. . -.-. STENDEC… - .-. -.. . -.-.STR DEK

of this variant comes for several reasons the greatest importance. Chile testified rapid signal succession with loud and clear receipt, de of the Chilean radio operator of the airport lot Cerillos of Santiago, speaks for such a slight mistake regardingthe letter allocation in a detail with a completely recognized signal succession. Further the delivery was even this from such an airplane, which only about five minutes before the alleged landing on this airfield from direction east wähnte itself after an and crossing,Signal usually to expect been. The angezielte airfield is only few kilometers west and chain and an airplane could therefore only about five minutes before the landing, approaching in bad weather directly from this direction it, alsonecessary descending flight from, the relatively large flight altitude necessary for and crossing begin. Leaving the previous flight altitude with the beginning of descending flight is announced and also today still regularly to the responsible CONTROLLER (today first those must by voice transmissionPermission for the beginning of descending flight to be caught up! […. Request leaving flightlevel… for starting the cent]). In the air traffic control function at that time also the radio operator and pilot of the Chilean Air Force at the headed for airport were active and for this messageregular dot-and-dash signal read at least for civilian aviation in the international English aeronautical radio language like already mentions STR DEK. The complete Telegrafie message of the airplane around 17:41 read after testimony including the unclear connection: “ETA Santiago 1745 hrs STR DEK = estimated time (OF) arrival Santiago 1745 hrs STARTING THE CENT = prospective landing time in Santiago 17:45 clock begins descending flight “. Then still the last double confirmation followed this message after Nachfage of the airfield radio operator: “STR DEK, STR DEK “alsothe common meaning already described. That the airplane was still directly in the Anden, neither the airport radio operator nor the flight crew could due to the missing Bodensicht and the possibilities of the speed measurement (no absolute speed limited at that timesuspect radio navigation and radar control above ground). Thus the pilots introduced their descending flight after this last message also logically, left thereby the flight altitude of 24.000 foot, safe for and crossing, and rest for them completely unexpectedly with running engines inthe mountain Tupangato.

Since 1947 despite most intensive and most expanded search actions no traces of the missed machine and its passengers could be found neither in the proximity of the headed for airport still in the Anden, obviously also nobody came on the idea thatthe message part of STENDEC only the wrong Lesart of the message of kind of condition STR DEK easily possible with fast given signal actually which can be expected for the all-last flight section before reaching the goal airport under the geographical conditions was. That appears at least from today's viewpoint inIn retrospect as to some extent amazing.

variant 3

at the end of a message is sent frequently the word STANDBY. If one omits the D as possible Flüchtigkeitsfehler or due to unsatisfactory right write knowledge, then STANDBY and STENDEC differ only at fewPlaces in the Morse code:

...  -  .   -.  -..  .  -.-.  STENDEC…  -  .-  -.  -...    -. --  STANDBY

with this variant is ignored that the airport radio operator ordered de Chile in Santiago over experience and all before from thatAirplane of delivered radiograms object-protect to read could. A mistake from short and long signals appears therefore as very improbable. With the many more probable 2. Variant it would have taken up, however all signals correctly regarding their length itself due to the fast signal sequenceonly in a case during the letter allocation erred, which can sometimes occur also with experienced Funkern. In addition none of the messages with the signal for STANDBY, sent before by the Bordfunker, had been terminated. In aeronautical radio traffic this reference particularly is in thatlast flight phase completely redundantly, since the Bordfunker at least at this time if not on the entire distance and in bad weather standby is always only quite, and one of the substantial rules of the aeronautical radio of it consisted and still exists, neverto send redundant messages or message parts.

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