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Ethiopia detains vintage air rally pilots

News Update: Pilots free to continue vintage aircraft rally after Ethiopia detention

Addis Ababa - Aviators who were detained in Ethiopia while retracing a historic flight route along the length of Africa in 24 vintage planes and support aircraft are now free to continue their journey, organisers said on Thursday. Read more at theguardian.com

Ethiopia detains vintage air rally pilots - BBC


The pilots of at least 20 aircraft taking part in a vintage plane rally have been detained in Ethiopia, officials have told the BBC.

The Vintage Air Rally planes crossed "illegally" into Ethiopian from Sudan, officials say, and are currently impounded at an airport in Gambela.

The rally has been suspended while talks take place to try to resolve the situation.

Earlier, a UK pilot who went missing during the rally was found safe.

On its Facebook page, Vintage Air Rally said that Maurice Kirk, 72, was with other pilots in Gambela who were all "safe and accounted for".

The planes, dating from the 1920s and 1930s, took off from the Greek island of Crete on 12 November on a 13,000km (8,000 mile) journey to Cape Town.

However, the head of Ethiopia's civil aviation authority, Wosenyele Hungnall, told the BBC that the aircraft had crossed illegally into Ethiopian airspace from Sudan.

He said the pilots had been detained and investigators were travelling to the area.

It is understood that those detained have had to surrender their mobile phones and other equipment, so details are unclear.

A rally spokesman told AFP news agency the problem may relate to landing permits, although he believed that all flight paths had been approved beforehand.

Read more at BBC


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