THE Ministry of Works and Transport and the Police Air Wing unit yesterday launched a search mission for a missing helicopter from neighbouring Botswana.
The Helicopter BPS 02-Type AS35, which is white in colour with blue stripes, took off from Gumare in Botswana’s North-West District on Sunday at 17h05 heading for Maun. Since the helicopter never arrived at its destination, the Botswana Search and Rescue Coordination Centre has been searching since Monday.
The Windhoek Air Traffic Control Centre has now launched a search and rescue mission for the helicopter, transport ministry permanent secretary Peter Mwatile confirmed in a media statement yesterday.
The statement said a helicopter belonging to police (V5 HPA) left the Eros Airport yesterday at 05h13 and was destined for the search area.
The police helicopter entered the search area shortly after a fuel let down in Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region.
According to Mwatile, another search mission using a fixed-wing aircraft was also conducted by the Namibian authorities in the search area on Tuesday afternoon.
Gaborone radar footage indicates that the missing helicopter allegedly made a U-turn before it went out of the radar coverage, as it was flying low.
Other unconfirmed reports state that the missing helicopter could have crossed into Namibia, some 23 kilometres west of Divundu in the Kavango East Region.
Police commanding officers in Rundu and Bagani have also been put on standby for any ground rescue operation.
Source : The Namibian