ocean. If she ditched, and therefore went down intact, she would also have had time to send an SOS.
Obviously, the disappearance of Flight 441 was also one of the most thoroughly investigated, as regards to the plane, to the weather conditions, and the pilot’s ability to handle it. Weather was considered “somewhat typical” for the North Atlantic at this time of year— no icing but scattered thunderstorms and minor turbulence. A flight traveling opposite at 14,000 feet reported just this, but the pilot believed that a plane at 441’s level would have been above the weather.
The pilot of Flight 441 would have known this. In addition to the basic navigation equipment of the time, Flight 441 carried weather radar. This is, by far, an added bonus. This would have alerted the plane to any unforecast weather fronts ahead, allowing the pilot to bypass it if possible.
An examination of the weather and of Lt. John G. Leonard, the pilot, produced the following summation: