Bill Lancaster’s Fuel Card
Bill Lancaster was a British aviation pioneer, who was hell bent on breaking the speed record for a flight from England to Cape Town, in April 1933.
His attempt at breaking the record was doomed to fail from the onset. He had spent the last 3 months in jail while on trial for a murder charge and had only spent a few hours flying in the past year, so he was a little rusty. Combine that with a second-hand plane that he had purchased, meant that he wasn’t in the right state of preparation for such an endeavour.
Once on his way, he got lost several times at night, met unfavourable winds and had to rely on a flashlight in the cockpit to check the compass. The last time he was seen alive, he’d been awake for 30 hours and could barely stand, but he was 10 behind schedule and was determined to break the record. An hour after, he crash-landed in the Sahara, far off course, so no one knew where to look.
His remains were found in 1963 by a French Army Patrol, 29 years later.