Plane of Pakistani father-son duo flying around the world crashes into the Pacific
The plane crashed just two minutes after they took off from Pago Pago on their way to Honolulu, Hawaii.
By Web Desk / Rabia Ali / Zahid Gishkori
Published: July 24, 2014
Haris Suleman's body has been recovered. PHOTOS: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS
The plane of father-son duo attempting to fly around the world in 30 days, crashed into the Pacific near the American Samoa Islands, Express News reported.
The father-son duo of Babar Suleman and Haris Suleman were flying from American Samoa Island to Hawaii in their Beechcraft Bonanza when their plane crashed shortly after taking off from Pago Pago International Airport.
Hiba Suleman, Haris’s, confirmed on her Facebook account that the body of her brother had been recovered, while rescue teams are still searching for her father.
Haris’s uncle Air Vice Marshal Abid Rao confirmed to The Express Tribune that the plane, a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza, crashed near Pago Pago Island when the father son duo had left it for Hawaii. “We are very sad. It was the last leg of their trip, a journey of 13-14 hours. But their plane crashed within two minutes after they took off.” He said that the incident took place between 6 to 6:30 pm PST.
He said that the body recovered was that of Haris but that of Babar and the plane wreckage has yet to be found.
Last known location of the plane. PHOTO: dev.trootrax.comMian Washim, a Pakistani-American businessman and a close family friend of the Suleman family told The Express Tribune that “there was no indication as to why the crash happened except that the crash site was about one mile from the end of the runway and out to sea.”
“It is very unlikely they had reached an altitude that enabled them to contact the Air Traffic Control in Samoa,” said Washim.
“The area [where plane crashed] is in the New Zealand SAR region and it was New Zealand SAR that received a distress signal from the aircraft. The timing of the signal (possibly a satellite ping) put it very close to the crash site when transmitted.
“Haris’s body was found soon after the arrival of the rescue boat sent from the island’s Fire and Crash service. There was an active locator beacon working but no information as to whether it was attached to Haris’s life jacket or not.
There is no information as to the condition or status of the aircraft.”
Since a large portion of their trip was to take place over water, their plane had been stocked with relief equipment life rafts, and “gumby” suits for ocean survival in the event of an ocean landing.
Gumby suits are only worn by the pilots while flying over water for extended periods of time.
This, however, seems to not have provided them protection from a crash.
On the home stretch, the father and son duo had not found any fuel in Kiritimati and had flown from New Caledonia to Pago Pago where they had topped up with fuel for the 17 hour flight to Honolulu.
The Express News.
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