top of page

Engine Out over Guanabara Bay

Lockheed Electra 10A 1029 was delivered brand new to Braniff on June 30, 1935, as NC14940; after flying with the airline for almost seven years the aircraft was pressed into service by the USAAF on March 14, 1942 and the registration was changed to 42-38344. Two years later, on November 10, 1944, the USAAF sold the Electra to the Brazilian Air Force and the registration changed to FAB 1219. Following 1029's stint in the service, it was sold to VARIG on August 6, 1945, and was given registration PP-VAT. Flying for five years with VARIG it was sold as PP-NBB to Aernorte. Aeronorte was set to begin its operations on December 1, 1950; however, on November 24 at 4:45 p.m. Civil Aeronautics inspector David Novak arrived to look over the aircraft. The aircraft was to undergo an inspection flight before being operated by the airline, the crew on this flight was Pilot Mariath and Co-pilot I. Laease. At 5 o'clock, only fifteen minutes into the flight, Inspector Novak ordered the pilot to change the pitch of the prop. Some reports say this was done to simulate an engine out procedure, either way, trouble developed, and an emergency landing was attempted at Galeao airport. The aircraft was unable to reach the airport and was forced to ditch in Guanabara Bay. David Novak fractured three ribs and the other two crew members were unhurt. The Electra had been damaged beyond repair and was written off.

1029, operating as PP-VAT while flying for VARIG (Ed Coates collection)

1/72 scale model of PP-VAT (

1 view

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page