ESAT News (November 23, 2016)
Fears were mounting for missing amateur light aircraft pilot Maurice Kirk who has gone missing during a vintage plane race in Africa.
The Daily Mail reported that Kirk, from Taunton, Somerset, was flying from Sudan to Ethiopia in a 1943 Piper Cub biplane when he went missing.
Kirk, 72, a retired vet and pal of the late actor Oliver Reed, was attempting to fly from Crete to Cape Town when he disappeared on Tuesday.
Attempts to contact him by radio have failed and organizers of the Vintage Air Rally said his family have been notified.
The Daily Mail quoted race organizers as saying that a major search and rescue operation got underway at first light on Wednesday morning but so far there is no trace of the veteran flyer.
The alarm was raised when he failed to arrive at his destination in Gambella in Ethiopia after taking off on Tuesday from Khartoum in Sudan.
Organizers had earlier asked him to pull out of the race after he suffered two engine failures on Sunday and because of a lack of satellite tracking equipment or a working compass on his vintage biplane.
A post on the Facebook page of the rally organizers said yesterday: ‘Vintage Air Rally participant Maurice Kirk, with his 1943 Piper Cub aeroplane, has not arrived at his expected destination, Gambella, Ethiopia, the report said.