Debris 'from missing Chilean military plane' that vanished along with 38 passengers is found in the ocean

2019/12/1576137356.jpg
Read: 702     12:33     12 December 2019    

Debris believed to be from a military transport plane carrying 38 people that vanished two days ago en route from Chile to the Antarctic has been discovered floating in the frigid waters of the South Atlantic, Defence.az reports citing Daily Mail.


General Eduardo Mosqueira, of the Chilean Air Force, said 'sponge' material, possibly from the plane's fuel tank, was found roughly 19 miles (30km) from the place the C-130 Hercules plane last made radio contact.

The debris will be analyzed to see if it corresponds to the missing plane, he said, adding that the process could take up to two days.

The missing aircraft took off Monday afternoon from a base in far-southern Chile on a regular maintenance flight, bound for an Antarctic base. 

Radio contact was lost 70 minutes later, around 6.15pm local time on Monday.

The plane was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, three of them civilians. 

The debris was spotted by a private plane assisting in the search in a stretch of treacherous water known as the Drake Passage on Wednesday.

A Brazilian ship in the area equipped with radar instruments will now scan 10,499ft (3,200m) underwater at the site to try and find the rest of the wreckage. 

The Air Force said the debris was spotted by a private plane assisting the search, and a radar ship will now be sent to scan the sea bed
The discovery came as Chilean officials had expanded the search for the missing military plane.

Mosqueira said the search area covered about 250 by 280 miles (400 by 450km) of ocean.

He added that improved visibility was helping crews who were using planes, satellites and vessels from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the U.S. as well as Chile.

The two pilots had extensive experience, according to the Chilean air force, which said that while the plane was built in 1978, it was in good condition. 

The air force said it flies this route monthly.

The four-engine C-130 is a 'military workhorse' and experts say in general well maintained airplanes can fly for 50-plus years.

The aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact, officials said, adding that no emergency signals had been activated.

The plane took off in favorable conditions, though it was flying in an area notorious for rapidly changing weather, with freezing temperatures and strong winds. 

Seven hours after contact was cut off, the air force declared the plane a loss, though there was no sign of what happened to it.

Ed Coleman, a pilot and chair of the Safety Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, said rapidly changing weather in the Antarctic makes it a difficult place for pilots.

Air masses converge there, driving storms with powerful wind gusts, while stirring the sea with swells 6 meters (20 feet) or bigger, he said. Flying becomes challenging, and making a smooth sea landing nearly impossible, he said.

'You can have a clear sky one minute, and in a short time later storms can be building up making it a challenge,' he said. 'That causes bigger swells and rougher air.'

The inhospitable Antarctic is equally formidable to rescuers, who have to respond quickly to pull any survivors from the cold, rough waters, he said.



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Debris 'from missing Chilean military plane' that vanished along with 38 passengers is found in the ocean

2019/12/1576137356.jpg
Read: 703     12:33     12 December 2019    

Debris believed to be from a military transport plane carrying 38 people that vanished two days ago en route from Chile to the Antarctic has been discovered floating in the frigid waters of the South Atlantic, Defence.az reports citing Daily Mail.


General Eduardo Mosqueira, of the Chilean Air Force, said 'sponge' material, possibly from the plane's fuel tank, was found roughly 19 miles (30km) from the place the C-130 Hercules plane last made radio contact.

The debris will be analyzed to see if it corresponds to the missing plane, he said, adding that the process could take up to two days.

The missing aircraft took off Monday afternoon from a base in far-southern Chile on a regular maintenance flight, bound for an Antarctic base. 

Radio contact was lost 70 minutes later, around 6.15pm local time on Monday.

The plane was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, three of them civilians. 

The debris was spotted by a private plane assisting in the search in a stretch of treacherous water known as the Drake Passage on Wednesday.

A Brazilian ship in the area equipped with radar instruments will now scan 10,499ft (3,200m) underwater at the site to try and find the rest of the wreckage. 

The Air Force said the debris was spotted by a private plane assisting the search, and a radar ship will now be sent to scan the sea bed
The discovery came as Chilean officials had expanded the search for the missing military plane.

Mosqueira said the search area covered about 250 by 280 miles (400 by 450km) of ocean.

He added that improved visibility was helping crews who were using planes, satellites and vessels from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the U.S. as well as Chile.

The two pilots had extensive experience, according to the Chilean air force, which said that while the plane was built in 1978, it was in good condition. 

The air force said it flies this route monthly.

The four-engine C-130 is a 'military workhorse' and experts say in general well maintained airplanes can fly for 50-plus years.

The aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact, officials said, adding that no emergency signals had been activated.

The plane took off in favorable conditions, though it was flying in an area notorious for rapidly changing weather, with freezing temperatures and strong winds. 

Seven hours after contact was cut off, the air force declared the plane a loss, though there was no sign of what happened to it.

Ed Coleman, a pilot and chair of the Safety Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, said rapidly changing weather in the Antarctic makes it a difficult place for pilots.

Air masses converge there, driving storms with powerful wind gusts, while stirring the sea with swells 6 meters (20 feet) or bigger, he said. Flying becomes challenging, and making a smooth sea landing nearly impossible, he said.

'You can have a clear sky one minute, and in a short time later storms can be building up making it a challenge,' he said. 'That causes bigger swells and rougher air.'

The inhospitable Antarctic is equally formidable to rescuers, who have to respond quickly to pull any survivors from the cold, rough waters, he said.



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