Wednesday, October 30, 2013

REVISED: Another American Drug Plane Down in Honduras

Update: Our post (below) is based on Honduran news reports. A comment from MJZ (published below) calls into question the registration reported by the Honduran press. Also relevant is the comment by Kevin Porter who called into question the identification. We have removed the specific details about the registration identification made in the Honduran press. This does not mean that the general point we are making-- that older US planes are often making their way to Honduras in an afterlife as highly disposable drug planes-- is any different; simply that in this case, we do not know the registration, and cannot verify the origin of this plane.

Another American plane loaded with narcotics landed in Honduras yesterday.  The plane landed near Limones at a dirt landing strip on someone's farm, a strip the owner reportedly thought he had disabled.  It landed at night, with the strip lighted by a generator, and unloaded its drugs into waiting pickup trucks.  The plane was then burned.

Sources differ about the registration of the plane.  International sources, like, report the plane was Venezuelan, while El Heraldo and others report it to be American. [Deleted information from Honduran news reports that has been contested.]

[Deleted discussion based on Honduran reports of registration.]

It was unusual that the Honduran military were not notified of this flight by the US radar operators from the Southern Command in Tampa, Fl. or by the US radar operators in Puerto Castillo.  Under a joint agreement the US supplies radar sightings to the Honduran military, who then try to intercept and interdict the plane.  This service was briefly interrupted last year when Honduran pilots twice shot down suspected drug planes in violation of their agreement with the US.  After a brief closure, the service was reinstated after the Honduran military reluctantly agreed to reinforce the agreed-upon protocol with their pilots.

[Deleted final paragraph referring to the plane as of known US origin.]


Kevin Porter said...

Your registration number is incorrect. The registration/aircraft you claim to have crashed is a C90GTi, equipped with P&W PT6-135A engines. The engines pictured on the aircraft wreck are earlier engines, probably PT6-21s. While the wrecked aircraft is a C90 King Air, it is not the newer C90GTi which you claim it to be.

RNS said...

Thanks Kevin. I'm not a pilot. Can you tell me how you can tell its the earlier engine? What should I look at?

I'm only reporting what the Honduran press reported about the aircraft registration. Its possible (and would not be the first time) that the Honduran press published a similar incinerated aircraft photo with a news story where they had no photos.

However, that does not appear to be the case here. All the published photos show the same aircraft from different angles, and at least one of them appears to show the plane still burning (Proceso Digital).

Please feel free to elaborate on the engines in a follow up comment.

MJZ said...

As an employee of the company, Unisource Holding, Inc., I am obliged to defend them on this issue. This plane you mentioned is parked in La Aurora airport in Guatemala and this has been confirmed by the FAA as well as local officials. It has never been in Honduras. All flights have been recorded and processed with the local government and FAA. This is an established well known company that has never had any relation to any unlawful or illegitimate operations.
The article is a complete fabrication and you have absolutely zero journalistic integrity if you continue to leave it. In fact, you should retract it immediately.

RAJ said...

Our report was based on Honduran press reports. Based on your information, we are modifying the post to reflect this. Thank you for the information.