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Questions about the Chilean plane crash: how is the search progressing and what is known about the incident?

2019-12-11T18:58:56.924Z

The search area of ​​the plane was expanded on Wednesday and 13 aircraft are participating in the operation, four of them from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom. Also, this Wednesday USA announced that ...



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(CNN Spanish) - A C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Chilean Air Force with 38 people on board and on its way to Antarctica disappeared on Monday and is believed to have crashed, authorities said Tuesday.


The search area of ​​the plane was expanded on Wednesday and 13 aircraft are participating in the operation, four of them from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom. Also, this Wednesday USA He announced that he would support search work.

These are the questions, and some answers, that we have about the accident:

What happened?

A C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Chilean Air Force ready to take off from the Santiago airport.

The C-130 Hercules plane departed from Santiago, capital of Chile, and stopped briefly in Punta Arenas, near the southern tip of the country, the Air Force said in a statement. The four-engine plane continued to the country's Antarctic base before losing radio contact around 6 pm local time near the Drake Passage, the body of water between the tip of South America and Antarctica.

His last known position was approximately 390 nautical miles from Punta Arenas and 280 nautical miles from the Antarctic base, according to the Air Force.

What do we know about passengers?

There were 17 crew members and another 21 passengers on board, who were on their way to “logistical support tasks,” such as repairing the floating pipeline that provides fuel for the base, the Air Force said.

In addition to the crew members, the plane also carried personnel from the military, an engineering company and the University of Magellan.

The Chilean Air Force published a statement with the names of the passengers:

Press Release No. 3 #FACh pic.twitter.com/nHphPz9t6C

- Chilean Air Force (@FACh_Chile) December 10, 2019

Relatives of the 38 people traveling on the missing plane were transferred to the air base of Punta Arenas, in southern Chile, where they will receive more details of the search.

They have already arrived at the Chabunco Air Base, relatives of the passengers of the wrecked aircraft C-130, who arrived at the IVth Air Brigade #FACh to find out in the field the search tasks that are being carried out. pic.twitter.com/hNpHyyWZDT

- Chilean Air Force (@FACh_Chile) December 11, 2019

How does the search progress?

Chilean authorities expanded the search area for the Chilean Hercules C-130 Air Force plane, they announced on Wednesday.

FACh Air Brigadier General Eduardo Mosqueira explained at a press conference on Wednesday that the search focuses on four quadrants that cover an area of ​​700 × 250 kilometers.

We share the update of the area on which the search for the C-130 #FACh aircraft, which consists of an area of ​​700 km, is being carried out. for 250 kms. This is established according to the aircraft that are participating and the geography of the area. pic.twitter.com/TXMg4zEap5

- Chilean Air Force (@FACh_Chile) December 11, 2019

Initially, the search is scheduled in six days, however, according to Mosqueira, it could be extended up to 10 days.

Those who participate?

Navy ships from Chile, from Argentina, private ships and planes that will arrive from the United States and Brazil, will lead the operations.

One of the Brazilian navy ships participating in the search has underwater exploration capabilities, authorities said. The sonars of the ship have a capacity to explore up to 4,500 meters deep.

Thank you, comrades, for supporting the search work with your P3 material. https://t.co/MpnLIZWlpW

- Chilean Air Force (@FACh_Chile) December 11, 2019

Satellites from the US, Israel and Peru are being used for the search.

What are the chances of a rescue?

Chilean Defense Minister Alberto Espina said Tuesday that the chances of finding someone were "difficult."

"The possibilities are difficult, but I think it would be profoundly wrong that at the moment that we are with all the energy and determination, doing everything humanly possible, we may lose heart ... we have to make every effort to find them," he said.

Conditions in the area are fluctuating: this Wednesday General Mosqueira said that although visibility is limited in some areas, there are good weather conditions to continue the search.

On Tuesday, General Arturo Merino, commander in chief of the Chilean Air Force, said that the weather conditions on Tuesday "are not the best", but that they expect that to change on Tuesday afternoon.

What kind of plane was it?

It is a C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Aviation Group No. 10 of the Chilean Air Force, of American construction.

It was manufactured by the company Lockheed Martin, which states on its website that "it can be said without fear of contradictions that the C-130 Hercules is one of the most important aircraft in the history of aviation."

According to the company, that type of aircraft was first flown in 1954 and, to date, “more than 2,500 C-130s have been delivered to 63 nations around the world. Seventy countries operate them. ”

Lockheed Martin indicates that the plane has "four powerful Allison T56-A-lA turboprop engines, each with 3,750 horsepower" and a "Hamilton-Standard four-blade propeller, which was only the first of many upgrades, modifications, changes in material and equipment, and other improvements for six decades that keep the Hercules last generation ”.

The C-130 is considered a workhorse of modern armies around the world. The four-engine aircraft is used to transport soldiers, equipment and cargo. Airplanes can carry up to 42,000 pounds of cargo or about 90 soldiers.

With information from Jessie Yeung, Taylor Barnes and Tara John of CNN.

air crash

Source: cnnespanol

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