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Air Platforms

Chilean Air Force finds human remains near where missing C-130 last made contact

12 December 2019
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Key Points

  • Chile found human remains near where its missing C-130 last made contact on its way toward Antarctica, according to the BBC
  • The aircraft had 38 people on board

The Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile: FACh) found human remains floating in the sea around where a missing Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft last made contact on its way to Antarctica, the BBC reported on 12 December.

The FACh said on 11 December that wreckage was found. The air force said the Chilean flag vessel Antarctic Endeavour made the discovery and that it could be internal fuel tanks or wing pods from the missing C-130. The aircraft was reported missing by the FACh on 10 December and had 38 personnel (32 air force, three army, and three civilians) on board when it disappeared from radar during a transit flight.

A Chilean C-130 similar to this was reported lost over the southern Atlantic Ocean on 10 December. (Jane’s/Gareth Jennings)A Chilean C-130 similar to this was reported lost over the southern Atlantic Ocean on 10 December. (Jane's/Gareth Jennings)

The C-130 had left Chabunco Air Base in the far south of Chile to the nation's Antarctic station of Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva. The air force timeline puts the C-130 over the sea, roughly half-way between the southern tip of Latin America and the northern coast of Antarctica, when contact was lost. The FACh said it was shipping the remains back to Chile to determine whether they are from the missing C-130.

The air force said it had deployed a variety of platforms as part of a search-and-rescue effort. These included a C-130, three DeHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, two Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs, four Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, and two Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

The FACh said the Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile) contributed one Airbus Defence and Space C295 tactical transport aircraft, an Embraer P-111 Bandeirulha maritime patrol aircraft, and two Airbus Helicopters BO 105 light helicopters.

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