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Missoni pilot did not have credentials to fly plane

15/01/2013

Psycho-physical fitness papers not renewed

Missoni pilot did not have credentials to fly plane

Rome, January 15 - The pilot of the plane that disappeared off the coast of Venezuela this month with five other people aboard, including Italian fashion chief Vittorio Missoni, did not have the credentials to fly the aircraft, the Italian Agency for Air Safety (ANSV) said Tuesday. The agency, which is investigating the disappearence, said the 65-year-old pilot's psycho-physical fitness papers expired on November 30 and had not been renewed. ANSV also said that the company running the plane did not hold a proper certificate to act as an air operator. The agency added that this information, which had been passed on to it by the Venezuelan authorities probing the incident, "do not at the moment represent causal factors directly related to the dynamics of the event". Missoni, CEO of the company famed for its zigzag-patterned knitwear, was last seen boarding a plane at a resort in the Los Roques archipelago with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni and a couple of friends on January 4. They were en route for the capital Caracas. A co-pilot was also on board the plane. On Friday Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said efforts to find the six people must continue ''until some conclusive indication is found''. The Los Roques area is notorious for plane crashes. In 2008 another small plane returning to the Venezuelan mainland from the archipelago disappeared with 14 people aboard, including eight Italians.