User:Chrisyu357/2004 Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 Crash

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2004 Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 Crash
Accident summary
Date September 22, 2004 (2004-09-22)
Summary Under investigation, pilot error suspected
Site Sunda Trench near Bali, Indonesia
11°22′59″S 117°39′09″E / 11.38306°S 117.65250°E / -11.38306; 117.65250Coordinates: 11°22′59″S 117°39′09″E / 11.38306°S 117.65250°E / -11.38306; 117.65250
Passengers 301
Crew 23
Fatalities 319
Survivors 5
Aircraft type Boeing 777
Operator Oceanic Airlines
Flight origin Sydney Airport
Sydney, Australia
Destination Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, CA, United States

Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 was a scheduled flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, United States, on a Boeing 777 owned by Oceanic Airlines. On September 22, 2004, the airliner, carrying 324 passengers, deviated from its original course and crashed into the ocean near Sunda Trench, several kilometers off the island of Membata, Indonesia. Detailed and specific circumstances are unknown, and the investigation into the accident was severely hampered as no crew survived and the black box cannot be retrieved from the ocean floor.

Over the course of September several search parties are sent to the Pacific ocean to search for the aircraft. None of the search parties retrieved anything note-worthy. Christiane I, a salvage ship set to find the remains of Black Rock in the Sunda Trench, accidentally discovered the wreckage of the plane two months later. Video footage from ROVs shows a large amount of fatalities on board, including that of pilot Captain Seth Norris.

5 survivors from the crash, and a new-born baby from one of the survivors, was found on the Sumba Island by locals on January 7, 2005, over 3 months from the crash. Their return and the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of the flight caused a media frenzy.

The accident is current;y the deadliest commercial airline accidents ever, with nearly a hundred more fatalities than the Air France Flight 447 crash. Oceanic Airlines closed shortly after the accident, and president Michael Orteig claims the shutdown to be "due to financial difficulties in the wake of the Flight 815 tragedy." On December 27, 2007 Oceanic Airlines resumed their business and continued their pan-Pacific flights.


At 21:15 UTC the flight departed on schedule from the Los Angeles International Airport. At around 02:00 UTC, communication with the flight was down. The last known location of the flight is 15km northeast of Fiji. At that time the flight was flying at flight level 350 and at a speed of 428 knots.

After an unknown period of time, the plane eventually crashed onto the Indian Ocean near the Sunda Trench, over 5000 km off course. According to the survivors, the plane remained mostly intact after the initial impact. Water quickly filled the plane, and some passengers were able to exit through emergency doors. All other passengers left behind are presumed dead.

Survivor's Account[edit]

According to the survivors, they spent over one day in the water before reaching the shore of Membata, an inhabited island off the coast of Sumba Island. When they reached the shore, only 8 passengers survived, including Charlie Pace (28), bassist for the English rock band DriveShaft, Elizabeth Smith (37), Jack Shephard (35), Hugo Reyes (29), Boone Carlyle (22), COO of Carlyle's Wedding, Sun-Hwa Kwon (27), Sayid Hassan Jarrah (40) and Katherine Anne Austen (30), a fugitive who were six-month pregnant at the time of the crash. Austen was the one responsible for bringing most survivors onto the shore. She was able to give first aid and find food for other survivors. Some time later, Pace, Smith and Carlyle died of unknown circumstances. Around a month and a half later, Austen gave birth to Aaron Austen on the island. 5 days before their rescue, a typhoon washed up remains of an Indonesian fishing boat, allowing the 6 survivors to reach Sumba with it. After reaching the shore they were picked up by Oceanic Airlines representatives. The survivors denied the possibility of any other survivors not yet rescued.


The survivor's story contains a number of contradicting points, leading to a lot of controversy. How the plane reached Membata, 5000 km off course, is unexplained. The chance of the plane remaining intact on impact with the ocean surface is also highly unlikely. It is also unlikely that one cannot find rescue in Membata, a place so close to civilization. The fact that the survivors can survive for over 3 months with a baby is also unreasonable. These inconsistencies were never explained by the survivors or Oceanic Airlines.

Ajira Flight 316[edit]

After the crash the remaining survivors lived a normal life away from the spotlight until the crash of Ajira Flight 316. Ajira Flight 316 is a flight departing from Los Angeles International Airport to Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam. The flight, like Oceanic 815, disappeared mid-flight over the Pacific and its remains cannot be found. Shortly after the crash, it is discovered that 5 of the original 6 survivors (Aaron Austen excluded) were on board on the plane. Conspiracies theory emerged, while Oceanic representative claims the five, being close friends after the crash, were attending a personal event in Guam. To this day the wreckage was not found, and all passengers, including the five survivors and pilot Captain Frank J. Lapidus were presumed dead.