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


Emotional moment for relatives of missing men

The Times Malta

Friday May 16th 1997

Twisted wreckage Malta TimesRelatives of six men missing since a light plane disappeared in mid-flight 18 months ago yesterday relived the trauma when they came face to face with the twisted wreckage retrieved from the seabed.

It was an emotional moment for the people who lost their husbands, fathers and sons in the tragedy and the viewing was held privately at their request.

The only evidence of the plane crash was retrieved from the Tunisian seabed last September after a fisherman found pilot Carmel Bartolo’s wallet and

The single-engined Piper Lance plane carrying passengers Philip Farrugia, Matthew Aquilina, Michael Williams, Desmond Boomer and Tadeuz Gorny disappeared on its way here from Djerba on December 3, 1995. The men were never traced and their bodies have still not been retrieved despite countless searches in the sea between Malta and Tunisia.

 An inquiry charged by Dr. Philip Sciberras with Captain Franz Sturmeier and Louis Giordmaina is examining evidence in a bid to get to the facts
surrounding the disappearance. The plane debris was brought to Malta last month from Tunisia and examined by an expert from Piper Incorporated earlier this Week.

Senior investigator Paul Lehman concluded that the plane hit the water at high speed at 35 degrees. The angle was worked out from wrinkles on the fuselage skin, he believes the plane was leaning on the left wing with its nose down when it impacted with the water. But he threw no light on what could have happened to the plane for it to crash.

Wreckage from the Piper Lance: 

Paul Lehman shows where the pilot sits

Cormac Boomer chats to Joseph Aquilina
Piper Lance distinct orange stripes Serial Number 80410 on fuselage
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