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Light Plane With 2 On Board Disappears Over English Channel

Its last known position was half-way over the Channel some 25 miles.

Lille, France:

A search was underway Sunday to locate a British light aircraft with two people on board that disappeared over the English Channel, the French coastguard said.

The Piper PA-28 plane took off from Wellesbourne, a village in central England, on Saturday for the northern French seaside resort of Le Touquet, the maritime prefecture said.

The British-registered plane had taken off with five other light aircraft as part of a joint outing, the prefecture said.

Its last known position was half-way over the Channel some 25 miles (45 kilometres) from Dungeness in the southeast of England, according to the UK coastguard.

A substantial search operation by both British and French authorities on Saturday proved fruitless.

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that the single-engine plane was owned by a staff instructor at a flying school based in Wellesbourne.

It named him as Guy Wakeley. The flying school’s website lists his former roles as chief executive for Morrison, a social housing maintenance group, and financial services group Equiniti.

The website said it was holding a “Club Fly-Out” to Le Touquet on Saturday. An official at the school declined to comment on who was aboard the plane to The Sunday Telegraph.

The search resumed on Sunday with a French helicopter and a French navy rescue boat, as well as a UK coastguard plane.

Commercial ships in the area were also asked to help, but no debris has yet been found and no witnesses reported seeing the plane go down, the prefecture told AFP.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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