ROME -- Italy's national air safety agency says the owner of the plane that disappeared Jan. 4 over Venezuela with the CEO of fashion house Missoni on board didn't have a certificate to operate.
The agency also said in a statement Tuesday that the pilot's license had expired in November.
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The National Air Safety Agency stressed that at the moment, neither factor "represents a direct, correlating cause" of the disappearance, but are merely facts gathered in the investigation.
The BN-2 Islander dropped off radar screens about 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of the resort islands of Los Roques during a flight to Caracas.
It was carrying two crew members and four Italian tourists, including Vittorio Missoni, CEO of his family's fashion company.
Italy sent four experts to help with the search.