Search called off for missing aircraft

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, November 28, 2006 – The search for the missing SVG Air aircraft and its two occupants has been called off.

Search teams from Barbados, Martinique, Trinidad, and Venezuela coordinated by the St Vincent and the Grenadines coastguard have combed several square miles of sea between St Vincent, Bequia, and Mustique with no sign of the Aero Commander 500S which vanished Sunday evening November 19 sometime between 6:51 pm and 6:55 pm.

However, government has announced they still wanted to locate the wreckage and bodies to bring closure for the families and was therefore seeking to source and commission sonar equipment to locate the plane believed to have crashed about one mile from the ET Joshua Airport.

The five-seat plane was on a routine flight from Canouan in the Grenadines to the mainland St Vincent. On final approach to the ET Joshua airport around 6:51 pm, as the pilot was descending 1100 feet over Bequia he radioed the Control Tower to advise on his position and seek permission to land. He was cleared for landing and advised the tower that he should be on the ground around 6:55 pm. He never landed and they never noticed that the plane had not arrived until after 8:00 pm when SVG Air triggered the alarm. The search started around 9:30 pm.

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) is investigating the crash.