Private Airplane, Scouting Film Sites Missing in Morocco

From Times Wire Services

A search is on in the Moroccan countryside for a private American plane missing since Tuesday with three men on board, the aircraft's owner said.

Michael Douglas, the producer and actor, issued a statement Friday in Los Angeles saying the aircraft, a single-engine piper Cherokee, was scouting sites throughout southern Morocco for filming of the 20th Century Fox film "Jewel of the Nile." He is producing the film with his brother Joel, who had been supervising the production crew in Morocco.

Douglas said the plane was piloted by Richard Kotch of Kansas. The two others were identified as Richard Dawking, a designer, and Brian Coates, a production manager, both Britons.

Moroccan military and helicopter forces were searching the snow-covered region with the cooperation of the American Embassy and British Consulate, Douglas said. Low clouds and poor visibility hampered the search, Moroccan authorities said.

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