Dan Futrell and Isaac Stoner, two average guys from Boston, recently set out on an expedition to find the black box of Eastern Flight 980, which crashed into the Andes Mountains killing everyone on board, 31 years ago. Believe it or not, they actually did it!
A year ago, while researching the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Dan Futrell discovered a fact he found very intriguing – since 1965, crash investigators have failed to recover flight data and cockpit voice recorders from almost 20 flights, including the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. But it was another flight that really caught his attention – Eastern Air Lines Flight 980, which took off from Paraguay for Miami, on January 1, 1985. It crashed into the side of Illimani Mountain and its black box was never recovered. Crash investigators have long suspected that the recording device had landed in an area that was nearly inaccessible, but this was something Futrell simply could not accept. “How is it that there is a place on this Earth that we can’t reach?” the young man wrote on his blog.
He and his friend Isaac Stoner spent the following year planning an expedition to the Andes Mountains, in Bolivia, with the sole purpose of searching for the missing black box of Eastern Air Lines Flight 980. “Dan and I are both remarkably average dudes: average height, average weight, average athletic ability, average lookin’…I would venture to say neither of us is beyond 2 standard deviations from average intelligence either. And yet here we are, about to try to do something pretty non-average,” Isaac wrote on their blog before flying off to Bolivia. “This is not exactly the trip that most people would book for their summer vacation. If we fail in finding the black box, I hope that this trip will at least inspire some other average folks to get off the couch and do something un-ordinary (if not extraordinary) themselves.”