, 2022-12-24 20:30:00
The disappearance led to the longest missing aircraft search in US history and the implementation of a new congressional mandate.
On December 24, 1996, a Learjet 35A business jet disappeared while flying from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Lebanon, New Hampshire. For almost three years, authorities were unable to locate the aircraft – the most prolonged aircraft search in United States history.
Operated by Aircraft Charter Group, Inc., the Learjet 35A was on a repositioning flight that left Sikorsky Memorial Airport at 09:19. 25 minutes later, pilots Johan Schwartz, 31, and Patrick Hayes, 30, were on approach into Lebanon Municipal Airport when they reported that they were unable to receive the localizer after an instrument landing approach attempt.
The crew presumed that this was due to ground equipment failure, and so informed the control tower that they would execute a missed approach. As the pilots reattempted their landing, the jet disappeared from the radar. Weather conditions were raining and foggy at the time.
When no contact could be established with the flight crew, US officials launched a search for the missing business jet. Over the years, hundreds of volunteers combed the mountainous terrain of western New…
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