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posted: 1/15/2013 9:57 AM

Expired license for missing Missoni CEO's pilot

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  • In this Jan. 9, 2013, photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of the Interior and Justice Press Office and released Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, a member of Venezuela's National Civil Aviation Institute points out at the ocean during the search for a plane that went missing near Los Roques, Venezuela. Venezuelan authorities have been searching since the twin-engine plane was lost Friday off the resort islands of Los Roques. On board were Vittorio Missoni, the head of the company, three other Italians and two Venezuelan crew members.

      In this Jan. 9, 2013, photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of the Interior and Justice Press Office and released Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, a member of Venezuela's National Civil Aviation Institute points out at the ocean during the search for a plane that went missing near Los Roques, Venezuela. Venezuelan authorities have been searching since the twin-engine plane was lost Friday off the resort islands of Los Roques. On board were Vittorio Missoni, the head of the company, three other Italians and two Venezuelan crew members.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

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.

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