NTSB Identification: MIA98WA049
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 31, 1997 in RIO SIDRA, Panama
Aircraft: Britten-Norman ISLANDER, registration:
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On December 31, 1997, about 0745 eastern standard time, a Britten-Norman Islander, HP986, operating under Panamanian flight regulations, crashed in a dense jungle area about 4 miles short of its destination Rio Sidra, in the northeast district of San Blas, Panama, and about 50 miles northeast of the capital. There were reports of heavy fog in the area, and flight plan information was not available. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot and nine passengers were fatally injured. Four of the passengers were United States citizens. The flight originated from Panama City, Panama, for a 35-minute flight at 0643.

Fifty minutes after departure the Department of Civil Aviation issued an alert that the airplane was missing. The flight was flying in heavy fog, that had been forecasted to disappear at noon. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems.

At 1715, searchers located the wreckage 4 miles from the airport. All on board were assumed fatally injured. As of January 9, 1998, it was reported that all 10 victims on the airplane had been confirmed fatal and all the bodies were recovered.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the government of Panama. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Director of Civil Aviation, Panama Apartado 7501 & 7615 Panama 5, Panama Telephone: (507) 226-1245

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information obtained for or released by the Panamanian Government.

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