The pilot of a plane that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with 11 passengers aboard had only a U.S. student pilot license and should have never been allowed to fly, Dominican authorities said Wednesday.Adriano Jimenez had been stripped of his Dominican license in 2006 because he was caught flying multiengine planes when he was only authorized to fly helicopters, said Pedro Dominguez, president of the Dominican Pilots Association. Two weeks ago, he had a minor accident while landing a small plane at a Dominican airport."An in-depth investigation was never opened to prevent what today we are lamenting," Dominguezsaid. Jimenez loaded 11 passengers onto a twin-engine plane in Santiago, Dominican Republic, on Monday and filed a flight plan for a landing in Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas, but he never arrived, according to the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute.
an emergency signal about 35 minutes after takeoff and then disappeared
from the radar.
He was flying in low visibility over rough seas,
according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena.
Rescue crews have searched
about 4,000 square miles (10,300 square kilometers) but have not turned
up any sign of the plane or its passengers, said Lt. Matt Moorlag of
the Coast Guard.
The plane went missing in
the Bermuda Triangle, a zone of the Atlantic Ocean noted for a
supposedly high number of unexplained losses of small boatsand
The U.S. Coast Guard says
the mysteries can usually be attributed to storms that flare up quickly
and to swift, Gulf Stream currents that wash away evidence of wreckage.
"Overall, the U.S. Coast Guard is not impressed with supernatural explanations of disasters at sea," Moorlag said.
The missing aircraft's
owner, Luis Perez of Puerto Rico, said he hired a pilot to fly the BN2A
MK III Trislander to the Dominican Republic so that Jimenez, a
potential buyer, could inspect it.
The pilot who was supposed
to fly the plane with Jimenez at his side refused to do so when Jimenez
arrived at the airport with 11 passengers, according to Luis Irizarry,
an attorney for Perez' company. He said Jimenez then took the plane
himself without authorization.
Jimenez, 43, received aU.S. student pilot ......
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a 4th rate iron screw steamer, was laid down by Reaney, Son, and Archbold,
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6 January 1866, Ensign F. C., Hall commanding that ship and sister tugs Primrose
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