Business Turboprops Reported Hijacked

 - January 9, 2007, 5:19 AM

Air Security International reported today that last week two business aircraft went missing shortly after departing from Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia, Venezuela. The first aircraft, a Gulfstream GI–registration YV-903-CP–disappeared February 12 and the second, a King Air 200, departed “without proper authorization” on February 15. FAA records show the King Air 200 as being exported to Venezuala and having its U.S. registration (N717HT) canceled last month. Houston-based Air Security said that Colombian authorities believe the aircraft were hijacked for drug-trafficking purposes, “as the pilots of the Gulfstream presented fake identification and the King Air remained parked for several days at the Aero Club, allegedly undergoing maintenance work.” Also on February 12, Colombian authorities found more than a half ton of cocaine inside a Commander 680, which crashed in Magdaleno, Venezuela, on February 3. It is presumed that this aircraft took off from Valencia on January 21.