The search for a Lithuanian-registered plane that went missing on its way from Gothenburg to Lithuania with two pilots aboard continues in the Baltic Sea on Sunday morning.
© DELFI montažas

Antanas Brenčius, a spokesman for the Lithuanian Navy, told BNS an Air Force helicopter took off at 7:20 a.m. to assist naval ships, which continued the search for the missing An-2 through the night.

"There is no news. They are searching (for the plane) 97 nautical miles off the coast, where it lost contact with the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center," Captain Lieutenant said.

If the plane is not found, the search will continue in a northward direction, he said.

Viktoras Sisniauskas, director of Klaipėdos Avialinijos (Klaipėda Airlines), told BNS that two experienced pilots were aboard the plane.

The An-2 was to land in Lithuania at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday. Sisniauskas said that no technical problems had been found before the flight.

"The plane was in a good condition. We intended to use it for our needs," he said.

According to Sisniauskas, about an hour and a half into their previous flight from Denmark to Gothenburg, Adolfas Maciulis and Alvydas Selmistraitis, both over 60 years of age and with more than 15,000 hours of flight experience, said that there were no problems.

The plane had life rafts and other life saving equipment, the director said.

"This is the first such case that a civil plane has gone missing when flying over the Baltic Sea," he said.

Klaipėdos Avialinijos purchased the plane, built in Poland, a year ago.

According to the Lithuanian National Defence Ministry, the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center informed the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center of the Air Force and the Navy at around 6 p.m. on Saturday that it had lost contact with the An-2 plane.

A Lithuanian Air Force MI-8 helicopter was immediately sent from the Nemirseta rescue post to the search area and another military helicopter flew from Kaunas to support the rescue operation if needed.

Two naval ships - the search and response ship Sakiai and the command and supply ship Jotvingis (N42) - were deployed. Swedish aircraft also joined the search efforts on Saturday.

BNS
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