N407D  Mohawk Airlines DC-3-277C   N407D               (c/n   2244)


                                              Newark, 1956.  This was, at the time, the chief maintenance base for Mohawk.  Still bearing
                                              the "Route of the Air Chiefs" slogan, this aircraft was named "Air Chief Cattaraugus".   For
                                              the uninformed, Cattaraugus is a small town and county in the far west of New York state,
                                              some fifty miles south of Buffalo.  Just why Mohawk named one of its DC-3s after this locale
                                              is a mystery unless, in fact, they were running out of Indian-sounding names at that point in
                                              time.  NC407D started life as NC15590, a pre-war DC-3 built for American Airlines.  It
                                              was acquired by Robinson Airlines in 1946.  Mohawk sold it in 1960 to Sierra Pacific Airlines.        
                                              Many years later this aircraft came to a tragic and mysterious end.  The following is extracted
                                              verbatim from the Aviation Safety Network Accident Report:
                                             "Argosy Airlines Flight 902 was operated by DC-3 N407D. The aircraft was to fly to Cuba
                                              to pick up 21 US citrus growers who were there on tour.  At 11:24 Flight 902 was cleared
                                              to taxi out from the Walkers Cay Jet Center to runway 9L for takeoff. At 11:29 they lifted off
                                              from Fort Lauderdale. Weather was fine as the DC-3 reached the cruising altitude of 6000 feet.
                                              At 12:25 the flight emerged on Havana's radar scopes, but the air traffic controller could not read
                                              any of the messages from the flight due to static. A high altitude plane relayed the messages to
                                              Havana and at 12:35 the messages became loud and clear. Eight minutes later the plane disappeared
                                              off the radar screens. The search for wreckage was called off on September 24, 1978."

                                              No trace of it was ever found.   Very close to the Bermuda Triangle, I would say.