Civil Aeronautics revealed new details about the tragic plane crash that occurred in the jungles between Guaviare and Caquetá on May 1, where three adults died and four indigenous children are still missing. According to the preliminary report delivered by the authorities, the plane’s pilot, Hernando Murcia Morales, reported an emergency related to engine failure moments before the accident.
According to control tower records, communication with the pilot was lost at approximately 7:44 a.m. However, at 7:15 that same day, Murcia Morales had issued an emergency call in which he reported on the critical situation: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, I have the engine at minimum, I’m going to look for a field…».
The control tower responded by telling the pilot that it had two nearby runways available for an emergency landing: the Morichal runway and the Miraflores runway, located 33 and 65 nautical miles away, respectively. However, for the next fifteen minutes, contact with the aircraft was lost.
When communication was finally re-established, the pilot reported that the flight had returned to normal and that the engine had recovered power: “The engine picked up power again, I am 120 nautical miles from San José, climbing…”. The plane appeared to be in stable condition, but at 7:43 a.m., the engine failed again.
In his last attempts to save the situation, the pilot tried to land on the Apaporis River or reduce the impact against the trees, which reach up to 9 meters high in that region. However, the official report from the Aerocivil Accident Investigation Authority (AIG) revealed that the plane became entangled in the treetops, suffering the detachment of the power plant before hitting the ground.
Inside the aircraft, the lifeless bodies of Hernando Murcia Morales, Herman Mendoza Hernández and Magdalena Mucutuy, mother of the four children who are still missing, were found. The technical report indicates that the seats occupied by the Mucutuy brothers did not show great deterioration after the impact, even one of them was intact, which suggests that the children may have tried to evacuate through the pilot’s door.
Despite the efforts of relief agencies and indigenous communities, who have been searching for Lesly Mucutuy (13 years old), Soleiny Mucutuy (9 years old), Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy (4 years old) and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy for more than a month, (1 year), positive results have not yet been obtained. Search and rescue efforts continue in the Guaviare jungle in the hope of finding the children safe and sound.