Posted by: nativeiowan | November 7, 2011


Missing arircraft found

A United States (US) aircraft that went missing 22 years ago in the Solomon Islands has been found beneath the waters of Santa Ana, Makira/Ulawa.

The aircraft went missing since January 18 1989.

The aircraft, a Piper Seneca light twin engine aircraft with registration number N8295M was on a delivery flight from the US to Australia with an Italian lone pilot on board.

It made an over-night stopover in Honiara on January 17, 1989.

The aircraft departed for Brisbane on the morning of January 18 and was never seen again.

Although there were extensive searches carried out then, the aircraft could not be located because of the lack of resources and aircrafts available at that time.

A helicopter P2-PAA and Solomon Airlines PA23 Piper aircraft participated in the search and were later assisted by RAAF C130 and G1000 from the Civil Aviation Authority of Australia but to no avail.

Two search and rescue mission coordinators were also sent by Australia to provide relief and assistance in the Rescue Coordination Centre.

All their efforts remain futile until June this year when Alfred Pita, an employee of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) went on leave in Santa Ana.

That was when he saw one of the villagers in possession of a knife with its handle made from part of an aircraft.

Curiosity led Mr Pita to investigate deeper of the whereabouts of the crash site and when it crashed.

It occurred that elders in the village revealed to him the aircraft that ditch of the coast of Santa Ana occurred around the same time N8295M disappeared.

Villagers during that time were afraid that if they mentioned the crash they might get into trouble so they remained silent for the past 22 years.

However, beneath the dusty files of the CAA, the file of the missing aircraft was never closed.

Therefore, Mr Pita alerted his CAA colleague George Satu and Mr Satu dug out the file.

After discussions with the CAA director and CAA advisor Mr Satu led a search team to Santa Ana to investigate the missing aircraft with a hope to close the N8295M case.

On October 31, 2011, the team flew over to Santa Ana.

They interviewed elders in the village before visiting the crash site.

Five local divers assisted the team as they went on a mission to discover the missing aircraft.

The remains of N8295M were discovered 50 meters under-water.

The CAA last week officially closed the file of N8295M.

The chronology of the story was relayed to the Solomon Star by Mr Satu.

Mr Satu said they have already contacted the US consulate in the country as well as Italian authorities of their discovery.

A team from US is expected to fly into the country to salvage the remains of the aircraft.



  1. I believe the classic 80/20 principle is applicable in the following,good post, I enjoy reading from this level

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