Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.

thomas_hale_boggs_01Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. is a U.S. Navy Veteran who served in World War II and was last seen aboard an airplane that departed Anchorage, Alaska en route to Juneau, Alaska on October 16, 1972.  During a campaign fundraising tour, Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. and fellow congressman, Nicholas Begich boarded a twin-engine Cessna 310 airplane FAA registration number N1812H.  The plane disappeared in the Chugach Mountain Range in Southeast Alaska.  Also aboard the plane were the pilot, Don Edgar Jonz and Congressman Begich’s aide, Russell L. Brown. Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force planes searched for the party. On November 24, 1972, the search was abandoned after 39 days. Neither the wreckage of the plane nor the pilot’s and passengers’ remains were ever found. The accident prompted Congress to pass a law mandating Emergency Locator Transmitters in all U.S. civil aircraft.  Inclement weather is thought to be blamed on the loss of the airplane.

From the National Transportation Safety Board’s Aircraft Accident Report for tail number N1812H:

A Cessna model 31OC, N1812H, operated by the chief pilot of Pan Alaska Airways, Ltd., departed from Anchorage International Airport, Alaska, at 0859 on October 16, 1972. Three passengers, including two United States Congressmen, were aboard.

At 0909, the pilot of N1812H filed a Visual Flight Rules flight plan with the Anchorage Flight Service Station. He stated that he had departed Anchorage at 0900 and that his intended route of flight was via the V-317 airway to Yakutat, thence direct to his destination, Juneau International Airport, Juneau, Alaska. He estimated his flying time en route at 3 hours and 30 minutes.

At 1315, the U. S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, received notification that N1812H was overdue at Juneau, An intensive search of areas along the proposed route and all probable alternate routes was conducted during the following 5-l/2 weeks. Nothing was found that could be identified with either the aircraft or its occupants,

The weather conditions along the proposed route from Anchorage to Juneau were not conducive to flight under Visual Flight Rules.

The National Transportation Safety Board is unable to determine the probable cause of this accident from the evidence presently available. If the aircraft is found, the Safety Board will continue the investigation and make a determination as to the probable cause of the accident.

The Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration, through its accident prevention staff, make wide dissemination of the details of this accident to the general aviation community, particularly to those pilots and operators involved in operations in remote and environmentally hostile areas.


Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. was 58 years old at the time he went missing in 1972.

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