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Chile. C-130 airplane disappeared: complicated searches

The Drake Pass is one of the most difficult marine areas. Engaged aircraft, ships and satellites -VIDEO

The fact of the C-130 aircraft of the Fuerza aérea de Chile becomes more complicated, disappeared last Monday from the radar after taking off from the airport of Punta Arena, in the south of the country, bound for an Antarctic military base. On board 38 people: 17 crewmembers and 21 passengers, of which 3 are civilians. Essentially, it was almost a qualified professional who was supposed to take care of the maintenance of the floating base. The research, concentrated yesterday at the point where the aircraft disappeared from the radar, is taking place in extremely difficult conditions, said the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera at this time, as the tract, known as Drake Pass, is one of the marine regions most complicated in the world for navigation. In fact, the Chilean patrol "Marinero Fuentealba" is involved in the research, as well as the "Almirante Condell" and "Almirante Cochrane" frigates: but this is a joint international effort in which also Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom and Uruguay participate with aerial and marine support, while the United States and Israel collaborate with satellite images. Also present were two private ships.

A range of 96 miles was probed yesterday from the last known position of the aircraft, near the Drake Pass, said General Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Force Brigade. "Now we are moving to the quadrants. We want to cover over the area where we had the last position", he added. Rescue teams are looking for any indication that could lead to determining the probable position of the aircraft, declared yesterday crashed and destroyed by the authorities, based on its flight autonomy (see also AVIONEWS).

Also deployed two Chilean C-295s and helicopters including an MH-60M Black Hawk of the IIª Brigada Aérea, informed Mosqueira again. Unfortunately so far the sea conditions have been almost prohibitive, he added, but for today, on Wednesday December 11, an improvement is expected.

Specifically, the missing plane is a Lockheed C-130H Hercules whose first flight dates back to 1978. In the same year it was handed over to the United States Marine Corps which used it as a KC-130R refuelling aircraft. It was later acquired by Chile in July 1995 as a mean of transport C-130H.

In the video, the report and the declaration by the Chilean President.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency