Searchers expecting break in weather as hunt for plane continues

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Search and rescue officials were hoping for a break in the weather later this afternoon as the hunt continues for a small plane that went missing in Southern Labrador on Wednesday morning.
A spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax said visibility and overall conditions were expected to improve by 3 p.m. local time.
"We have an effective search underway right now, but they are only getting pockets of areas where they can see the ground,"?the spokesperson stated.
A Hercules aircraft and two Cormorant helicopters are in the air over the search area, but have so far not be able to locate the plane.
"They're still facing some heavy cloud cover and wind."
The Piper twin-engine aircraft operated by North Wind Aviation was flying from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright. Two occupants - a pilot and passenger - were onboard.
The pilot radioed his intentions to land at Cartwright at about 10:30 a.m., but the plane did not arrive.
It's believed the plane was about 110 kilometres from Cartwright when the radio message was received.
Search and rescue efforts have been hampered by inclement weather.
It's also been confirmed that the Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) had recently been removed from the plane in order to be repaired.
Transport Canada regulations make it mandatory for all planes in Canada to be equipped with ELTs.
But there are exceptions under which an aircraft can be operated for up to 30 days without an ELT, according to the Transport Canada website.
The regulations states, in part: "… provided the ELT is removed at the first aerodrome at which repairs or removal can be accomplished; the ELT is promptly sent to a maintenance facility; and a placard is displayed in the cockpit stating that the ELT has been removed, and the date of removal."
Sources say the plane was equipped with survival gear, and was carrying a small shipment of food.

Organizations: Joint Rescue Co, Transport Canada

Geographic location: Southern Labrador, Halifax, Happy Valley Goose Bay Canada

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