Pan Am Flight 7

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Pan Am Flight 7
Boeing 377 N1033V PAA Heathrow 12.9.54.jpg
A Pan Am Stratocruiser identical to Flight 7.
DateNovember 8, 1957 (1957-11-08)
SummaryCrash, wreckage disappearance
SitePacific Ocean
29°25′59″N 143°34′01″W / 29.433°N 143.567°W / 29.433; -143.567Coordinates: 29°25′59″N 143°34′01″W / 29.433°N 143.567°W / 29.433; -143.567[1]
Aircraft typeBoeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-29
Aircraft nameClipper Romance Of The Skies
OperatorPan American World Airways

Pan Am Flight 7 was an around-the-world flight originating in San Francisco that flew westbound with several planned stops, ultimately scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia. On the morning of November 8, 1957, the aircraft serving the flight, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser named Clipper Romance Of The Skies, registration N90944, departed San Francisco on its first leg to Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. It never arrived.

Crash and recovery[edit]

On the morning of November 8, 1957, the aircraft departed San Francisco for Honolulu, at 11:51am PST. Last contact with the aircraft consisted of a routine radio transmission between the pilot in command and a US Coast Guard cutter performing radar surveillance duty at Ocean Station November, located at the approximate halfway point between the mainland and the island of Oahu. The aircraft never arrived in Hawaii.[citation needed]

The New York Times reported on November 9, 1957: "The Coast Guard sent out a search plane to look for the airliner, which carried 36 passengers and a crew of eight. The Coast Guard also alerted crews of two cutters to be ready to take part in the search. United Press International (UPI) reported that submarines USS Cusk and USS Carbonero were the closest vessels to the point where the plane was last reported and were diverted to the search. The last radio report from the plane came when Captain Gordon H. Brown made a routine check."

The search response grew in size until it was reported to be the largest deployed in peace time since the failed search for Amelia Earhart. On November 14, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea spotted bodies and small pieces of wreckage identified as coming from the missing aircraft floating on the ocean.

Fifteen bodies, most of them with life jackets from the lost airliner, 'Romance of the Skies,' were picked up today in the Pacific Ocean 955 miles northeast of Honolulu. The aircraft carrier Philippine Sea reported that the recoveries had been made in a 33-square-mile area of scattered debris. All of the bodies were shoeless and had external injuries and multiple fractures, the carrier's report said. The Philippine Sea said she had a flotilla of small boats recovering and delivering bodies and bits of debris to her decks.

— The New York Times, November 15, 1957

Toxicology results performed under the auspices of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office showed higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in a few of the sets of recovered remains that suggested, but did not prove, that carbon monoxide poisoning may have been a factor in the crash.[2]

The definitive cause of the accident has never been determined.[1][3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ The Daily Mirror: 44 killed on Romance of the Skies Flight November 9, 2007.
  3. ^ Herken, Gregg; Fortenberry, Ken (September 2004). "The Mystery of the Lost Clipper". Air & Space. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Fagan, Kevin (November 4, 2007). "Romance of the Skies plane crash haunts pair 50 years later". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 15, 2009.