Still Searching For Missing Plane In The Darien
Monday, September 05 2011 @ 03:00 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: A few minutes after taking off the pilot of this plane reported he was leveling out at his assigned altitude of 6,500 feet. There was severe weather in the area at the time. Shortly thereafter radar information indicated the aircraft dropped almost straight down at a high rate of speed into the waters of the Pacific ocean. One body was recovered, and the authorities think this was the one passenger who was not wearing a seat belt. They suspect the aircraft is on the bottom of the ocean, and have used the services of an American company with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to search for the missing plane, without results. Those efforts did, however, reveal the exceptionally strong currents in the search area. So, if the plane went down in one area, the currents might have moved it someplace else, relatively far away from the point of impact. Remember, this was the US registered aircraft with the "N" tail number that was supposedly grounded by the FAA after it was involved in a drug bust. Panama's Civil Aviation Administration was using for routine administrative flights like this one, when technicians went to the Darien to install communications and navigation equipment.