SANTIAGO, Sept.3 (Xinhua) -- A Chilean aircraft on salvage operation following a plane crash in Juan Fernandez Islands had to return to the capital on Saturday due to technical problems.
"During the flight, the pilot found that a deficiency in the hydraulic system made it impossible to land on the runway as short as that of John Fernandez Islands," said General Maximiliano Larraechea, general secretary of the Chilean Navy. "We're going to redistribute cargo and passengers in the next flights which have been scheduled, adding up to the planes sent by the army from its base in Rancagua," Larraechea added.
A Spanish CASA aircraft was reportedly missing at about 17:48 local time on Friday while trying to land on the island, about 670 km west off the Chilean coast.
Chilean Air Force confirmed on Saturday that four bodies floating in the waters near the Juan Fernandez Islands have been recovered by search staff following the crash of a plane with 21 passengers.
The Chilean authorities have launched search operations by air and sea around the crash area. Meanwhile, the Chilean Navy has deployed eight divers and a submersible capsule in an operation to glean bodies in deep underwater salvage.
The Chilean government confirmed that onboard the plane were eight members of the Chilean Air Force, five persons from local public television, six staff from a humanitarian organization and two officials from the Ministry of Culture.
The trip to the islands with some 629 inhabitants, was to inaugurate reconstruction projects for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami of February 27, 2010. TV host Felipe Camiroaga of TVN, the state TV Station of Chile, was also among the passengers.