Search team to hunt for Polish explorer's plane that got lost in 1928

Subscribe to Oneindia News

London, August 24 (ANI): A Norwegian team is set to embark on an expedition to find the submerged wreck of a plane which carried Norway's great polar explorer Roald Amundsen in 1928.

On 18 June 1928, Amundsen joined a rescue operation to save another rival, Umberto Nobile.

The Italian aviator had crashed his airship Italia on a return voyage from the North Pole. Nobile and his surviving crew members found themselves drifting helplessly on pack ice.

Amundsen boarded a Latham 47 sea plane along with a team of French Air Force pilots to try to reach them.

His aircraft disappeared over the sea on its way to the Arctic island of Spitsbergen.

According to a report by BBC News, two ships are all set sail from the Norwegian city of Tromso to begin the two-week expedition to find the plane wreck.

The 2009 search will be headed by New Zealander Rob McCallum, a veteran expedition leader and project co-ordinator. He will be joined on the team by Nicolay Jacobsen, a great-nephew of Amundsen.

"If we can find some leads to strengthen some theories, or can help in some way to find out what actually happened, then it will be even more interesting," said Jacobsen.

According to experts involved in the 2009 expedition, the Latham 47 should have been about 19 nautical miles south of Bear Island when the plane's last radio message was picked up at 1845 on June 18.

"If we can find some leads to strengthen some theories, or can help in some way to find out what actually happened, then it will be even more interesting," said Jacobsen.

The two ships that will work together on the search are the Royal Norwegian Navy vessel KNM Tyr and its larger supply vessel, the Norwegian Coast Guard ship KV Harstadt.

Together, they will scour some 117 sq km (45 sq miles) of sea floor for the downed plane. State-of-the-art technology will be crucial to the search.

The expedition will use an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called Hugin 1000, capable of making high-resolution maps of the sea bed.

The sonar-equipped AUV can function independently for about 12 hours. After this, it will need to be brought aboard the Tyr for the data to be downloaded. (ANI)

Please Wait while comments are loading...