Desmond Boomer

Desmond Boomer

A 38 year old Belfast born engineer working in the Libyan oil fields

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

A 49 year old English born engineer

Matthew Aquilina

Matthew Aquilina

A 22 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Tadeus Gorny

Tadues Gorny

A 48 year Polish national working in the Libyan oil fields

Phillip Farrugia

Philip Farrugia

A 43 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Carmel Bartolo

CArmelo Bartolo

The pilot, a 47 year Maltese national

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  • The Times Malta - Piper Lance inquiry inconclusive

    THE TIMES, THURSDAY NOVEMBER 28, 1996

    Piper Lance inquiry inconclusive

    By Carmel Attard

    The inquiry into the disappearance of a Maltese-registered light plane with six persons on board on a flight from Tunisia stands adjourned sine die, leaving a number of unanswered questions on what had actually happened.

    The chairman of the board of inquiry, Dr Philip Sciberras, was clear in the first sitting when he stated that a lack of hard evidence such as wreckage would make it difficult for the inquiry to establish what caused the disappearance of the aircraft on December 3 of last year.

    Last October the Ministry of Transport was informed that three weeks earlier a Tunisian fisherman had brought up some debris from the aircraft and a wallet belonging to the pilot, Carmel Bartolo.

    Searches by the AFM proved negative. During the inquiry several shortcomings were brought to light, not only in the way the Tunisian authorities handled the whole affair but also in the manner with which the accident was tackled by the Maltese Department of Civil Aviation.

    The least one can now expect is a list of recommendations to ensure that the Civil Aviation Department in Malta will see to it that loopholes identified in the process would be remedied. There seem to be grey areas in the checking of private aircraft operations; the way a red alert is called and coordinated and the certification of pilots.

    The inquiry has also indicated that there are too many responsibilities placed on a single person, the Director of Operations, That is neither fair on the person concerned nor on the safety of air operations. The DCA has a duty to inform the general public of the lessons learnt from this unfortunate accident and the remedies being made.


    Hand written Letter from Denis CaruanaThis newspaper article was sent to Cormac Boomer by AFM Warrant Officer Denis Caruana.

    Denis also sent a copy of the anniversary notice for Matthew Aqualina that the Aqualina family had published, it read,

    "A year has gone by and we constantly pray that you and fellow passengers and crew on the Piper Lance are safe
    following its tragic and mysterious disappearance.

    You are always in our thoughts and prayers and we hope we have yet to embrace you dearest Matthew"

    Denis Caruana included a touching hand written letter to Cormac Boomer promising to forward any mention of the disappearance in teh Maltese newspapers.

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