Aviation News

March 17, 2012

Missing Norwegian Military Plane Found in Northern Sweden

Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130 on display in Oslo
Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130 named Tor on display in Oslo. (Photo by Johnny Comstedt via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND)
Swedish forces late Friday afternoon discovered possible debris from a Norwegian military transport plane which went missing over the Scandinavian Mountains on Thursday, officials said.

The Norwegian Hercules C-130-J military transport plane was on its way from Evenes airport in northern Norway to Kiruna in far northern Sweden when contact was lost at around 4 pm local time on Thursday. The aircraft was participating in an international military exercise dubbed “Cold Response’ and was carrying five people.

On late Friday afternoon, Swedish service members from the Army Jaeger Battalion discovered two objects at the Storglaciären (The Grand Glacier) in the Tarfala Valley of the Scandinavian Mountains. The two objects, which appear to be part of a seat, were said to smell like kerosene.

“They have photographed [the items] and sent it to the Norwegian armed forces,” the Swedish Maritime Administration said in a statement. The Swedish Armed Forces, in a separate statement, said it had not yet been able to confirm whether the items were part of the missing plane.

Norwegian, British, Swedish and Danish forces have been involved in the search-and-rescue operation. The five missing crew members, who are all from Norway, have been identified as 46-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Truls Audun Ørpen, 42-year-old Captain Ståle Garberg, 40-year-old Captain Bjørn Yngvar Haug, 45-year-old Captain Siw Robertsen, and 35-year-old Captain Steinar Utne.

Norway’s Rescue Coordination Center previously said weather conditions were not favorable at the time the aircraft went missing, and the bad weather has continued to hamper rescue efforts. No distress call was received before the accident on Thursday.