Contributed by: Don WinnerNo response. The families of the five men who went missing after a plane crash in the Darien are looking for answers. Now eighteen days after the accident and the authorities still have not found the airplane. This morning the relatives of the missing men held a meeting with Civil Aviation authorities. They will have their answer at 3:00 pm when authorities announce the new plan they will follow, after the unsuccessful search results. Nelly Paz, the sister of the missing technician Ciro Paz, called upon president Ricardo Martinelli to "stop playing politics and to get involved in a full search. Because they are Panamanians who were serving at work." Family members also requested the President's intervention to make the payment of checks being held in the Comptroller's Office. "They have wives and children to support, and the President does not know of the sacrifice we are going through, nor of our efforts to come out to get information about our loved ones," she protested. (Critica)
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.