While the search for the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, his wife, and two friends, continues, new information about the aircraft's pilot has come to light that could provide important clues in the plane's mysterious disappearance off the coast of Venezuela January 4.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica (via The Cut), ANSV, Italy's agency for flight security, learned that neither the pilot, 72-year-old Germán Marchan, nor the airline involved in the incident were fully licensed to operate.
Despite the fact that a fellow Venezuelan pilot, Piergiorgio Serloni, previously desribed Marchan as "one of the most expert and respected pilots in Los Roques," his flying license actually expired November 30, 2012. Marchan's age has also lead to speculation that he may not have been fit to operate an aircraft.
Furthermore, ANSV reported that the company operating the aircraft hadn't yet been given permission to fly on that day.
The agency stressed that neither of these two factors "represents a direct, correlating cause" of the plane's disappearance--that they are merely new facts come to light in the case.