Mon, Jul 02, 2012
Missing Plane Took Off Without Permission
A missing AN-2 biplane is still missing after wreckage found by a search party proved to be that of a different AN-2. A massive search, involving nearly 1500 people, 300 vehicles and 11 aircraft has been underway for almost 3 weeks but to no avail. The Moscow Times reports the still missing aircraft took off from the Urals city of Serov with 13 people on board, including the local traffic police chief. The aircraft departed June 11 on an unauthorized flight and then mysteriously disappeared.
Local police say the passengers may have been drinking and were possibly headed out on a fishing trip or to a banya in a nearby district.
An Emergency Situation Ministry spokesman told Interfax that aircraft have covered 219,000 square kilometers, ground crews 951 square kilometers, and still there is no sign of the missing AN-2.
Searchers have also turned up bits of a Mi-8 helicopter in their ongoing search.
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