Missoni Pilot’s License Was Expired

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Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

ANSV, Italy's agency for flight security, determined that both the pilot and airline responsible for the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, which disappeared on January 4, were not fully licensed to operate, La Repubblica writes. Pilot Germán Marchan's flying license expired November 30, 2012, and at 72 years old, his age caused concern from the beginning of the investigation; however, one of his colleagues, Piergiorgio Serloni, previously told La Stampa that Marchan is "one of the most expert and respected pilots in Los Roques." As for the airline, according to La Repubblica, it did "not yet have [a] regular air operator's certificate."

The Italian paper has more details about the incident. The plane took off from Los Roques at 11:32 a.m. for the international airport in Maiquetia, Caracas. Seven minutes later, Marchan or his co-pilot reported the plane's position of ten nautical miles from the island of Gran Roque at 5,000 feet above sea level, but didn't make further contact. Based on data, the plane ascended to 5,400 feet or so, moving 13.2 nautical miles from Gran Roque before losing altitude and speed, and going off the radar.

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