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SANTO DOMINGO.- Immigration Agency director Jose Sanz Jiminian denied that the 11 passengers aboard the plane that went missing Monday had no visas, as a local newspaper reported.

The official, interviewed on the Z-101 morning radio program, said as soon he heard about the plane, he called the Immigration office in Santiago, where he was told him that all the passengers, including the pilot Adrián Jiménez, had a visa for the Providenciales Islands, for which the trip was legal. “For that reason we’ve taken all restrictive measures so that nobody can leave the country with forged documents."

Meanwhile Pilots Association president Pedro Domínguez reiterated that the pilot of the U.S.-registered plane made flight an irregular flight using a student license issued in that country.

He also regretted that the authorities at Cibao International Airport, from where the flight departed, and the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (Idac), didn’t know Jiménez didn’t have a valid license. "But also the fact that just around 15 days ago, this gentleman (Jiménez), while landing in the Santiago airport, one of the landing wheels of the 3-engine Islander plane collapsed but wasn’t even investigated. If it had been investigated to depth then, it would’ve been detected that this gentleman didn’t qualify to be flying and this tragedy would’ve been avoided."

The missing plane has he U.S. registry N-650LT, operated by the company Atlantic Aviation. According to the flight plan, it was headed to the island Mayaguana, near the Bahamas, and one hour after take off from Cibao Airport the pilot radioed a distress call monitored by Miami Airport controllers.


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21 comment(s)
Written by: gouletcolonial This user is banned, 17 Dec 2008 12:17 PM
From: Cuba, it is a secret the censors are looking for me
this has scam written all over it top to bottom ....this was a Yola with can you have a collapsed nose gear on landing without an accident report ...the mind boggles ,,,,
Written by: JD_Dominguez, 17 Dec 2008 12:34 PM
From: United States, Reality Check
Of course he did!

"Immigration Agency director Jose Sanz Jiminian denied that the 11 passengers aboard the plane that went missing Monday had no visas".

The depths of RD corruption knows NO BOUNDARIES!

Written by: gouletcolonial This user is banned, 17 Dec 2008 1:08 PM
From: Cuba, it is a secret the censors are looking for me
Tex lets see the photos and maybe the will have the tell tale eye
Written by: juanb, 17 Dec 2008 1:29 PM
From: Dominican Republic
You know, I was trying to create a funny, absurd post, imagining something that was really preposterous happened here at the end of which I was going to ask how many of you believed that something like that could happen here. The problem that I had in creating the post was that I couldn't come up with anything as preposterous as this story:

Plane crashes, no one discovers pilot doesn't have valid license, etc., etc., etc.
Written by: Juango, 17 Dec 2008 1:56 PM
From: United States, far S. Florida (formerly Santo Domingo)
Sad, very sad. Most probably the passengers paid their hard earned money for their first airplane trip to the promised land and never made it. Poor uneducated soles. My question is, how many times has this stunt been accomplished successfully? Why don't the "funcionarios" have anything to say in this matter. PN Chief, his boss Almeyda, Chief of Airport Security, Chief of DNCD, Chief of Aduanas, Immigration Chief need to all meet to get their story straight. A few people need to go to jail before Christmas. This was a "flying yola" where even the plane's owner doesn't pass the Smell Test. Appears to be big time PAYOFF to several jefes at STI.
Written by: PuntaCanaMike, 17 Dec 2008 2:08 PM
From: Dominican Republic
And the plot thickens.....
Written by: JimHarrington This user is banned, 17 Dec 2008 2:37 PM
From: United States
Do you see how easy it is to bribe an official at the government level in the DR?
Easy as hell.
Written by: BenCardozo, 17 Dec 2008 2:43 PM
From: United States
GC: I think you are right.. this was indeed a "Yola with Wings".
Written by: gouletcolonial This user is banned, 17 Dec 2008 4:11 PM
From: Cuba, it is a secret the censors are looking for me
BenCardozo yes they have confessed more or less the Big Tuna says the pilots license had been suspended for people smuggling....colour me surprised....I was shocked shocked
Written by: bernies, 17 Dec 2008 4:15 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Juan Dolio
if his pilot license was cancelled how in hell did he get clearance to take off? we need to investigate the controllers guys at the airport specially their bank account, or may be their new cars.
Written by: trentonnj, 17 Dec 2008 5:11 PM
From: United States
This has been the worst tragedy to my family. My cousin who lives with me, wife is Rosa Tavarez, one of the passengers on this plane. It is so devestating that we still dont know what happen to that plane.She has two children and a husband who are devestated and want answers. The investigation must go on , they need to get to the bottom of this.
Written by: gouletcolonial This user is banned, 17 Dec 2008 5:18 PM
From: Cuba, it is a secret the censors are looking for me are in a unique position to enlighten the readership first hand if this was a misguided attempt to evade immigration laws ...the people who made your family suffer should be exposed for what they are exploiters of peoples dreams for a profit ...we are sorry for your pain
Written by: Juango, 17 Dec 2008 5:27 PM
From: United States, far S. Florida (formerly Santo Domingo)
Sorry to hear of your loss, trentoonj. Unfortunately, I am afraid the responsible parties will never be held responsible and a lone flunky will end up in jail perhaps for a few months. The managers of the STI airport should all be fired and those who were involved need to be jailed. You know most everyone at the airport knew what was going down, but like many insatnces in the past, everyone is fearful. The only thing Dominicans respect is FEAR & INTIMIDATION. That is all Dominicans, Rich or Poor, Powerful or Weak ! There may be one or two exceptions, like Sen. Guerrero.
Written by: PilarRodriguez, 17 Dec 2008 6:10 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
Authorities should take responsibility of what happened, must investigate very deeply what was going on there and find out why this tragedy happened as to avoid any such crime in the future.
Written by: alphapilot, 17 Dec 2008 7:09 PM
From: United States
My deepest condolences go to the families of the innocent victims of this tragic event. My heart goes out to my brothers and sisters of the Dominican Republic. As an ex Islander pilot I must say this aircraft is very unforgiving when weight and balance is the case. Information has it this individual loaded this plane like loading a minivan and took off!

Many intrigues surround this incident, like why would the owner a "fellow boricua" have his plane flown to the DR to be inspected when Puerto Rico as a US Commonwealth an FAA inspection far exceeds that of any foreign nation?

I feel the owner has a lot of questions to answer!!! As the "Yola with wings", yes I believe this pilot has been involved in this for some time now and I wouldn't be surprised the DR officials are on the take on this!!!

God bless you all, (victims) are in my prayers!!!
Written by: unique33, 17 Dec 2008 9:18 PM
From: United States Virgin Islands
i am soooo upset at this whole situation,, i am very close to 1 of the passangers,, he is my daughters unlce,, i was unaware of hi flying,, i am so appauled at someone flying like his,, i hope we can get to the bottom of this,,i miss you,, cuno,, love ya
Written by: dreadlocks This user is banned, 18 Dec 2008 12:02 AM
From: United States
if anybody believes that anything will come out of these "investigations", then i guess they believe in Santa Claus. in the USA, there would have been a parade of guys arrested, fired, and investigated. heads would be rolling. here, we will get another announcement , maybe tomorrow, about another company coming to the DR to produce nuclear fuel from chicken feathers, and we will forget this incident.
Written by: Petuar, 18 Dec 2008 10:40 AM
From: Trinidad and Tobago
I tuly thing everthing was slackness and i do agree with some of the people on this site. What happen didnt they check their passport before they departed. I think if the cancelled this guy pilot license why is he allow to fly. Something is not adding up. They need to look into the suituation more.
Written by: gouletcolonial This user is banned, 18 Dec 2008 10:46 AM
From: Cuba, it is a secret the censors are looking for me
" According to a report released Wednesday night by the Armed Forces, Jimenez a former Navy cadet, has a long rap sheet since he first entered the military and ousted just six months later for allegedly cheating on exams." .....another rotten apple from the military barrel....also possible implications to the murder of an honest official ...the list goes on and on ...Find his associates and name them

Adrián Jiménez, must have been known to many agencies and under suspicion for some time...for him to be able to continue to operate freely in aviation circles would have required many greased palms who are the people responsible for not making sure this guy never got near an airplane other than as a passenger...I am also skeptical of claims of theft of this airplane
Written by: soundkiller, 18 Dec 2008 10:30 PM
From: United Kingdom
My sympathy goes out to the families in this story. I am also skeptical of the claims of theft on this airplane, there have been alot of false reports and to get one part straight. The Aircraft NEVER landed in Turks & Caicos Islands. In one article I read... if the aircraft declared an emergency with DR tower and disappeared off radar 30mins after departure, how come the DR didn't send out a search and rescue?? FOr those close to the passengers, if they decide to contact you guys soon I hope you let the press know.
Written by: rockbottom, 19 Dec 2008 1:58 AM
From: Dominican Republic
“For that reason we’ve taken all restrictive measures so that nobody can leave the country with forged documents."

LIsten carefully guys New Rule!!!

Leaving the country with forged documents is now a no no.
Flying a plane without a license... not so much so.

Is there not one person in the country that can ask the right questions?
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