• Norway's news in English
 

Bad weather slows hunt for Norwegian plane

Published: 16 Mar 2012 08:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Mar 2012 14:26 GMT+01:00

"It's terrible weather. And it's very difficult to find an aircraft in the hilly terrain," a spokesman for Sweden's air rescue services, Peter Lindquist, told AFP.

The harsh weather conditions also complicated search and rescue efforts on Thursday night to locate the  plane in the mountains of north-western Sweden.

Strong winds and heavy cloud cover forced helicopters to break off their overnight search for the plane, which was carrying five Norwegian crew members when it lost radio and radar contact around 2.40pm on Thursday afternoon.

However, helicopters were back in the air by Friday morning, concentrating their search in three areas around Mount Kebnekaise, Sweden's tallest peak.

"These are the areas that are most likely [for the plane to be located] based on the last radar signal we have and a spot which a heat sensing camera from a Norwegian surveillance aircraft picked up last night," rescue operations leader Jonas Sundin of the Swedish sea and air rescue services told the TT news agency.

In addition to the difficult weather conditions, avalanche concerns complicated ground-based rescue efforts.

"There are a few ground patrols out and driving around on snowmobiles, but there is a great risk for avalanches. We have a lot of manpower at the ready, but we're limited by the avalanche danger," said rescue operations leader Bengt-Olov Hammarlöf to TT.

"It's only the most experienced [rescuers] who can go into these areas when it's dark."

So far, no emergency signals from the missing plane have been detected.

"For some reason, it hasn't been set off. Either the crash was so violent or so terrible that it was knocked out of operations by the impact, but there is also an emergency signal transmitter in the life vests but those must be switched on by hand and for that, you have to be conscious," said Hammarlöf.

The aircraft went missing when it was on its way from Evenes in northern Norway to Kiruna in the far north of Sweden.

At the time, the Hercules was was participating in the Cold Response military training exercise taking place over northern Norway which was scheduled to run from March 12th to March 21st and included 16,000 soldiers from 15 countries.

"There was a crew of four on board as well as an extra officer. Their mission was to fly from Evenes to Kiruna to pick up materiel and personnel and fly back to Norway," Harald Sunde, head of the Norwegian Armed Forces told Norwegian news agency NTB.

He added that the officers on board the Hercules aircraft were among the "most experienced" in the Norwegian military and that there were no clues regarding what may have happened.

"We have nothing that points us in any particular direction. This is a very robust and new aircraft, one of the best there is. It's been hard to have bad luck with this type of aircraft," said Sunde.

The missing aircraft is a C-130 J "Super" Hercules transport plane manufactured by Lockheed Martin in the United States.

The plane is one of four C-130 Js ordered by the Norwegian air force in 2007, the first of which was delivered in November 2008.

Map: Rescuers believe the plane crashed at Drakryggen, near Mount Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak.


View Larger Map

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway’s Labour Party to recognise Palestine
Jonas Gahr Støre during the Labour Party's conference. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway’s Labour Party to recognise Palestine

Norway is likely to join its neighbour Sweden and recognise Palestine as an independent state if the Labour Party wins the next parliamentary elections, the party's leader said at its annual conference. READ  

Jailed Norway journalist freed in Yemen
Raymond Lidal in 2011. Photo: Private

Jailed Norway journalist freed in Yemen

A Norwegian journalist held in Yemen since late March has been released and is on his way home, the Norwegian foreign ministry said Friday. READ  

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport
A wolverine at Kristiansand zoo. Photo: Birgit Fostervold

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport

A wolverine in transit from a Norway zoo to Alaska gnawed through his cage at customs in Newark Airport and began growling at passers-by, winning it the moniker "psycho killer" in the US press. READ  

Video
Assad: 'most dangerous' Isis chiefs are Scandi
Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr/WikiCommons

Assad: 'most dangerous' Isis chiefs are Scandi

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has blamed Norway and other Scandinavian countries for producing "the most dangerous leaders of Isis in our region", in a video interview with Sweden's Expressen newspaper. READ  

MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign
Laila Gustavsen on Karl Johans Gate during Norway's 2013 general election. Photo: Labour Party/Flickr

MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign

An MP for Norway’s Labour Party has spoken out about being raped when she was 15 years old, as more and more prominent women join a national twitter campaign to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse. READ  

Video
Fancy a trip to Norway in 1973?
The apartment is decked out in full 1970s style. Photo: MNEF

Fancy a trip to Norway in 1973?

Feeling nostalgic about Norway in the 1970s? Why not put in a bid on this Oslo apartment, where nothing has changed since 1973. READ  

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling
The unlucky beaver trapped under a birch. Photo: Beate Strøm Johansen

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling

A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall. READ  

Earthworms rain from sky over Norway
The mystery worms spotted lying on the snow by Karstein Erstad on Sunday. Photo: Karstein Erstad

Earthworms rain from sky over Norway

Earthworms have been raining down from heaven over large areas of southern Norway, leaving biologists and meteorologists scratching their heads. READ  

Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal
Pippa Middleton at the wedding of Lady Melissa Percy in 2013. Photo: MatthewSlack/Wikimedia Commons

Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal

The socialite sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, the likely future Queen of England, has been criticised by animal rights groups after dining on “smoked whale carpaccio” while on a freebie press trip to Norway. READ  

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate
A Shell station in the US. Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate

Norway’s oil fund has thrown its weight behind a shareholder campaign aimed at forcing oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell to detail plans to tackle climate change, in evidence of the fund’s increasingly activist approach to its $880bn in investments. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
As it happened: Denmark rocked by terror attack
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Sport
Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,287
jobs available