A missing plane was found in Russia’s Urals Mountains by two hunters almost one year after the craft first disappeared. The plane, an An-2 light biplane, took off without permission on June 11, 2012 and was not seen again until Saturday night.
Two hunters found the aircraft’s wreckage in marshlands just eight kilometers from where it took off from the airport in Serov with a pilot and 12 passengers on board.
Official search efforts for the plane were called off four months later. Investigators believed that the group on board took an unscheduled flight after a drinking session. The missing, including Serov’s traffic police chief, may have been on a fishing trip or on their way to a Russian-style sauna when the airplane disappeared.
Along with finding the missing plane, body parts of 11 people were also discovered at the site. The wreckage of the craft was identified as an An-2 similar to the one that disappeared last year.
Russia’s Interior Ministry released a statement about finding the missing plane, saying:
“At first, they took the strange structure in the swamp for the collapsed power line pylon and set up a camp nearby, but when they approached it they understood that it was, in fact, the missing plane.”
Despite the crash site being relatively close to Serov, Russia where the plane took off from, it is in a difficult to reach area accessibly only by smaller vehicles. A helicopter will likely be used to remove the debris of the plane from its resting place in the swamp.
While the investigation is ongoing, investigators have listed three potential causes of the crash. Those include a technical fault, pilot error, or a combination of both. The weather conditions could also have been a factor. Police stated that it will be more difficult to determine what happened, because the missing plane found this weekend did not have a flight recorder, also called the black box.
[Image via Nigel Wilson]