Photo of the same type aircraft. All photos courtesy of Incostas.
Deep Tow 2000 vehicle.
Area of search.
Enlarged image of object.
On 04 January 2008 an aircraft carrying 14 people on route between Caracas, Venezuela
and the Los Roques group of islands in the Caribbean crashed into the sea. The pilot
had reported loss of power from both engines. The aircraft was 24 miles south of
its destination at the time of the crash and was on its way to a popular tourist
On 09 April Incostas mobilised their GeoAcoustics Deep Tow 2000 side scan to
undertake a search for the aircraft in approximately 400 metres water depth on board
the vessel Punta Brava from the port of La Gauaira.
The search was undertaken over the area shown in the picture below based upon
the aircraft's last known position and information received regarding local current
and tidal conditions at the time of the crash. Due to the versatility of the side
scan sonar it was possible to cover large areas of seabed using the low frequency
(~100kHz) sweep whilst more detailed observations could be undertaken with the high
frequency (~400kHz) setting after targets had been identified. A total of 30.5 km
of survey lines were run, covering a swath of approximately 750 metres parallel
to the coast as indicated. During the course of the survey two significant targets
were discovered and one of them merited further investigation as it conformed to
the shape and size of the missing aircraft.
The size and shape of the target indicate that this target is the likely resting
place of the crashed aircraft and plans are underway to mobilise an ROV to take
a close look.