Collision fear on missing planes
Monday 15 September 1997
The South African Air Force later reported that a mayday signal had been picked up from an emergency beacon.
A spokesman for the search unit said the signal was picked up by a French aircraft helping in the search for the missing planes.
"The information is that a mayday call signal has been received by a French C160 in the area we're looking in." a spokesman said.
Later he said that an indistinct voice had been heard in the distress call. "It's sometimes a beacon signal that goes off but it can also be a voice. It was not very clear but, yes, it was a voice that came across."
A spokesman for the German defence ministry said: "It cannot be ruled out that the missing [German] plane possibly collided with an American military aircraft and crashed,"
The Pentagon later confirmed that a US Air Force C-141 Starlifter cargo plane was missing in the same region as the German plane. "They both went missing at about the same time and about the same area," a spokesman said.
The South African air rescue service also said it believed there had been a collision between the two planes. A spokeswoman said a flash was picked up overnight which could indicate the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.
The German aircraft, an eight-year-old Tupolev 154 inherited from the East German army, disappeared about 1,000 miles west of Angola on Saturday. It was carrying 12 marines, 10 crew members and two of their wives who had been invited to Cape Town for a regatta celebrating the 75th anniversary of the South African navy.
The US plane was flying from Windhoek in Namibia to Ascension Island. It was due to land at 5.51 GMT on Saturday but never arrived.
A German Airbus with a search team on board was due to fly out to the region yesterday evening and would head either for Cape Town or Pretoria depending on any new information received during the journey.
A second German airforce aircraft was due to follow the route of the crashed plane to South Africa from Dakar in Senegal via Windhoek in Namibia in search of clues.
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...