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Small plane missing in Eastern Cape

Port Elizabeth - A search has been launched for a single-seater light aircraft that went missing near Alexandria, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

The search began on Wednesday, when one of three light aircraft, flying from Port Alfred to Port Elizabeth failed to land as expected, Captain Mali Govender said.

A Zambia air force plane crashed during a routine training exercise, killing two people including the force's second-in-command.

“About 20km from Alexandria, the planes picked up cloud and mist, and each of the pilots took a different route to avoid this.”

After the aircraft was reported overdue, the police began air and ground searches, and alerted farmers in the area.

The search was suspended late Wednesday evening, and continued at first light on Thursday.

Two police helicopters, a police fixed-wing aircraft, and another from the Algoa Flying Club, were searching for the missing aircraft.

Police were working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and had support from the military in the search.

Captain John Fobian of the police's disaster management in the province described the area being covered in the search as “very vast”.

“Currently, we have ground support in Uitenhage, Kirkwood, Colchester and Port Elizabeth... Every effort is being made to locate the missing aircraft.”

Sapa

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