Missionaries Feared Dead After Plane Disappears

Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Tag Cloud

Eric Leijenaar, Worthy News Senior Special Correspondent

142217
There were fears Thursday, February 26, that missionaries may have died in a plane crash, ten days after their small aircraft disappeared the jungles of Venezuela. Via ANN

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (Worthy News) -- There were fears Thursday, February 26, that missionaries may have died in a plane crash, ten days after their small aircraft disappeared the jungles of Venezuela.

The Cessna 128N, of Adventist Medical Aviation (AMA) group, disappeared Monday, February 16, in the jungles of La Gran Sabana, a vast southeastern region in Venezuela, said the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which supports the group.

Polit Robert Norton, who volunteers for AMA in Venezuela, was believed to have hit turbulent weather after taking off from the community of Carun en route to the community of Bethel.

Also in the plane were six passengers identified as the pilot's wife Neiba Norton, Gladis Zerpa, an Adventist teacher; a woman accompanying a 14-year-old and a woman traveling with her young son, Christians said.

"Our church is really distraught about the news of this tragedy," said Rodolfo Escobar, Communication director for the church in Venezuela in a statement released by the Adventist News Network (ANN).

SEARCHING CONTINUES

Escobar said church members in Gran Sabana began searching for the missing plane as soon as they heard the news. The National Civil Aviation Institute, along with several air rescue and non-government organizations, immediately began their search but stopped after 72 hours.

Escobar said there were several accounts from villagers in the adjacent areas of Carun who heard the plane's engines go silent at some point during the stormy weather. "We have formed groups to search in the air and several more groups on foot to scour the region where the plane communication was last heard."

Norton, the pilot, has more than 20 years of flying experience, ANN reported. For the last eight years, he served as director of AMA Venezuela, which is based on the campus of La Gran Sabana Adventist School in Santa Elena de Uairén in Bolivar. His wife Neiba is a registered nurse and works with indigenous people in the region.

AMA provides emergency medical transportation and evangelistic support to dozens of otherwise inaccessible villages.

Copyright 1999-2017 Worthy News. All rights reserved.
Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

2 thoughts on “Missionaries Feared Dead After Plane Disappears

Leave a Comment