Search for Brazilian plane with four UK passengers called off after seven days

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Friday, May 9, 2008

A similar Cessna 310

Search and rescue operations for a light aircraft that disappeared seven days ago in Brazil have ceased having failed to locate the plane. In addition to two local pilots the Cessna 310 was carrying four businessmen who were citizens of the United Kingdom.

Rescue teams utilising two air force helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft, as well as several naval vessels, scoured an area of 3,475 square miles off the North-East of the country for the missing plane, which was chartered from Aero Star. Although the plane and its occupants remain missing, some floating personal possessions from those on board and several pieces of wreckage have been recovered.

The pilot and co-pilot have been identified as Clovis de Figueiredo e Silva and Leandro Oliveira Veloso respectively, and the passengers as Alan Kempson, Sean Woodhall, Ricky Every and Nigel Hodges. The businessmen were flying in connection to a propsed luxury housing development at the Bahia town of Ilheus, whose airport the plane had been a few kilometres away from and intending to land.

The four Britons, three of whom reside abroad, had initially attempted to hire a helicopter for the journey but were denied this due to weather conditions that were deemed to poor for rotorcraft operation. Their relatives have hired a boat with sonar equipment and intend to search deeper waters for the lost plane.

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