The search for a Saudi pilot who went missing two weeks ago in the Philippines has come to an end without any trace of him or the Filipino flight instructor who was with him when their plane vanished.
On May 18, Abdullah Khalid Al Sherif, 23, who has been attending an aviation school in the Philippines, was on a training flight around Occidental Mindoro province when contact was lost and the plane disappeared from radar, Gulf News reported.
Sherif’s Filipino instructor was identified as Jose Nelson Escalante Yapparcon, 50. Sherif’s family speculated the plane might have been hijacked. His brother, Abdul Majid, went to the Philippines to help with the search. However, the missing plane and its occupants were not found.
“We have been informed that the search stopped after sonar devices had not found any trace of the plane wreckage or the missing persons,” Majid said.
He said the search covered an area 21 kilometers wide and 7km long in Occidental Mindoro. He said there was a possibility that a criminal act had been committed as there was no trace of the plane or debris in the sea.
According to Majid’s uncle, the island where the plane disappeared is not far from the airport where the aircraft came from. Other members of the family said Sherif’s mobile phone was still ringing but there was no answer.