PUNTA ARENAS, Chile – A Chilean Air Force C130 Hercules plane with 38 people onboard disappeared while en route to Antarctica on Monday, December 9, 2019.
The Chilean Air Force reported that the C130 took off at 4:55 p.m. local time and lost radio contact at 6:13 p.m. while heading from the Chabunco Air Base in the city of Punta Arenas to the President Eduardo Frei Montalva Antarctic Air Base on King George Island.
Of the 38 people on board the military plane, 17 are Chilean Air Force crew members, 18 are additional military personnel, and 3 are civilians.
The aircraft’s mission was to carry out logistical support tasks, transfer personnel for the revision of the floating fuel supply pipeline of the Base, and to conduct anticorrosive treatment of Chilean national facilities in the area.
Upon loss of communications with the C130 crew, a state of alert was declared and the Chilean Air Force based in the Magallanes Region and in the city of Santiago was immediately activated, along with a multidisciplinary search and rescue team.
After more than seven hours after the radio contact had passed, the Chilean Air Force declared that the C130 crashed.
Chile established the “President Eduardo Frei Montalva” Meteorological Center on King George Island in 1969, which later became the “President Eduardo Frei Montalva” Air Base.