A Transaven Let L-410 which crashed off the coast of Venezuela in early January reportedly suffered an engine failure.
The Venezuelan-operated twin turboprop had 14 passengers and crew on board when it disappeared while en route to the capital Caracas from the Los Roques islands on 4 January. All the occupants are believed to have been killed in the accident.
Local reports cite an emergency management official as saying that the pilot reported engine failure and declared an emergency.
According to Venezuelan civil protection agency source, the search for the aircraft was being undertaken in an area some 30km (16nm) south of Los Roques. The islands lie about 150km north of Caracas and the Venezuelan coast.
Transaven is a small turboprop operator which specialises in linking Caracas with tourist islands in the southern Caribbean.