At sunrise on 1st March 1940 Imperial Airways Handley Page HP42E "Hannibal" departed from its eastern base at Karachi Drigh Road airfield bound for Egypt with eight people aboard. Some six hours later it departed after refueling from Jiwani and while crossing the Gulf of Oman - was never seen again.
Very little reference is made of this event. Limited to quotes such as:-
"Whilst on a flight with four passengers and a crew of four en route from Jask to Sharjah, Hannibal was lost without trace over the Gulf of Oman." (1)
"On 1 March, Hannibal , the luxurious trendsetter of the early 1930s, vanished without trace while flying with a crew of four and four passengers over the Gulf of Oman en route from Jask to Sharjah." (2, p122)
The loss on 1 Mar 1940 of the Imperial Airways HP42 Hannibal four engine biplane passenger aircraft, G-AAGX, remains a mystery. Travelling between Calcutta, Alexandria and London.(5) The official report places the aircraft in the Gulf of Oman. Recently discovered flight timings suggest otherwise. No crash site was identified. Does the cloak of wartime secrecy shroud the true location? Was a thorough search too much effort under the demands of wartime? "When the aircraft was reported overdue, a full scale search was made by the RAF, Royal Navy and aircraft on the route." "Neither wreckage or bodies have ever been found."(12) "There is as much myth as there is hard evidence about this incident!"(4) This page aims to learn what is known. Publicly the event is still a mystery and actual hard facts can be tainted by time, misinformation and opinion. There are also strong indications that the wreckage was found on land and removed for political reasons.
After turning back to Juwani and transferring Hannibal's passengers to an Empire C-class flying boat, the passengers on board were collected at Karachi.(12)
AN EXAMINATION OF EVIDENCE in notes discovered. (Pencil original)
1st March 1940 Flight CW197 (westward)
G =GMT L = Local
0025G = 0554L Indian, left Karachi
0921G = 1221L msg to Sharjah,
eta Sharjah 1035
Jask - Sharjah 1hr45m for 136 miles @77.6 mph
Last message 25m before eta =25/105x136 =32.4m short of Sharjah
Land Mass from Sharjah towards Jask is 62 miles
So 'AGX into the sea off shore by up to ___ miles.
(line crossed out) or:-
From map interpretation
if Ras al Khaima = RAK, then route round straight of Hormuz
192 miles in 1hr45min would require 192 x 7/4 = 110 mph average
including a 90 deg turn after about 100 miles. (3.2/6.2 x 192 = 100m)
77mph for100 m takes 1hr15m, so would require 90 m in 30m @180mph!
Or, did he meet W coast too far north of Sharjah, such as at RAK? Unlikely view of 7000ft area north of Dibba.
"Wreckage" on shore , 2miles East of Ras-al-Kuh, (The spit of land 30m west of Jask, where the coast turns north)
Direct route would cross coast between Dibba and Khor Fakkan
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