Aircraft Reported Missing Near the Bermuda Triangle

Admin Airplanes, Flex Air News

A private plane carrying four people vanished on Monday, May 15, near the Bahamas. Those said to have been aboard the aircraft were Jennifer Blumin, 40, and her two young sons, Phineas, 4, and Theodore, 3. The pilot was Nathan Ulrich, 52, Blumin’s boyfriend. The aircraft was headed to Titusville, Florida from Puerto Rico at about 11 a.m. Around 2:10 p.m. it disappeared from radar 37 miles east of the Bahamas, within the borders of where the infamous Bermuda Triangle lies.

The Bermuda Triangle, or Devil’s Triangle, encompasses approximately 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida where dozens of planes and ships have disappeared. Additionally, many reports have been made that readings on directional devices do not operate normally inside the triangle. In his last radio transmission, Ulrich said the plane was traveling at 24,000 feet and a speed of 300 knots. Ulrich’s former wife – actress and daughter of Tommy Chong, Rae Dawn Chong – was quoted as saying she has flown thousands of miles with him and he is an excellent pilot.

Chong told sources she has no doubt the accident was the result of equipment malfunction.

Blumin is a well-known and respected NYC designer and founder and owner of Skylight Studios. She specializes in finding historic and neglected locations in NYC and transforming them into elegant event spaces. Skylight Studios was launched in 2004. Blumin was said to have been guided by a desire for “adventure that was risky, that others wouldn’t try.” That adventurous side took her to Puerto Rico, where she was in the process of purchasing a house. She and her sons were joined there by Ulrich and departed together on the private plane.

Ulrich is from New Hampshire and is the technical director of Radon Sport LLC, a racecar design and manufacturing firm. He is also the founder and co-owner of Xootr, a company that produces folding scooters and bicycles. For 25 years, Ulrich had been inventing anything from robots used for research to consumer products like scooters. He received his BSE, MSE and PhD in mechanical engineering, where he found his passion for flying.

With his professional piloting background and extensive travel over the past years, there is no question that Ulrich knew what he was doing.

The aircraft carrying these four individuals was a twin-engine MU-2B turboprop plane. Although this is one of postwar Japan’s most successful aircraft, it has had its fair share of negative incidents. In October 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted a safety evaluation of the aircraft and concluded that it met certification requirements. It was deemed safe when properly maintained and operated by trained pilots.

The FAA recently instituted required training specific to the MU-2B, and as a result, the aircraft’s accident record has vastly improved. Search efforts for the MU-2B’s four passengers were undertaken with help from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force. Debris was located both in the water and on land Tuesday, 15 miles east of Eleuthera, Bahamas, around 3:30 p.m. After three days of intensive rescue efforts, the search was suspended at 8:45 p.m. Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of the disappearance.