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Sep 16, 2003

Another mystery plane abandoned in Belize

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Another mysteriously empty cargo plane has landed and been abandoned in Belize…and if these unscheduled visits continue, the B.D.F. may soon have the biggest air force in the region. It is not certain when the latest landing took place, but law enforcement officials speculate that it was around the fourth or fifth of September that the twin engine Beechcraft Queen Air–the picture on your screen is a file shot of a similar plane–made an emergency landing in a corn field some two miles from Belmopan’s Hector Silva Airstrip. The plane is an older model with the seats removed, obviously used for cargo, more than likely cocaine. It carried a U.S. registration number and suffered some structural damage upon landing, but is said to be repairable. A check with civil aviation authorities indicates the aircraft was not cleared to enter Belizean airspace and officials are working with their stateside counterparts to dig up more information on the plane’s pedigree. Police believe the drug plane may have been hoping to land at a proper airstrip–perhaps Belmopan’s–but suffered an engine failure and was forced to put down in the cornfield. What became of the cargo, pilot or any interested parties on the ground is unknown. On August twenty-ninth an Antonov 26 cargo plane landed on a road near Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District and was abandoned. Like that aircraft, the Queen Air will become the property of the Government of Belize.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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