1974 Typhoon Bess WC-130 Swan 38 disappearance

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Swan 38
WC-130H 54th Weather Sqn in flight 1977.JPEG
A Lockheed WC-130H Weatherbird, of the 54th Weather reconnaissance Squadron, in flight over the Pacific Ocean
Accident summary
Date 12 October 1974
Summary Disappearance
Site South China Sea
Passengers 0
Crew 6
Fatalities 6
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Lockheed WC-130
Operator 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, United States Air Force
Registration 65-0965
Flight origin Clark Air Base, the Philippines

In 1974, a newly converted Lockheed WC-130H (Air Force serial number 65-0965) was transferred to the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the "Typhoon Chasers", at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. The aircraft, using the call sign Swan 38, was sent to investigate Typhoon Bess after it passed over the Philippines and continued to the northwest.[1] The crew departed Clark Air Base on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.[2]

Radio contact with Swan 38 was lost after 22:00 on 12 October 1974, apparently as the aircraft was heading into the typhoon's eye to make a second position fix during its alpha pattern. There were no radio transmissions indicating an emergency on board, and search teams could not locate the aircraft or its crew except for a few pieces of debris. All six crew members were listed as missing and presumed dead.[2]

Swan 38 is one of the few Hurricane Hunter flights lost on a mission, and the only WC-130.[2]


  1. ^ "Lockheed WC-130H Hercules 65-0965 South China Sea". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Tom Robison. Whiskey-Charlie! Retrieved on 2011-06-19.