Enthusiasts lose one vintage plane but press on south through Africa

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Aviators flying vintage planes the length of Africa were showing them off in the skies over a Kenyan game park on Sunday, a day after one of the aircraft was wrecked in a forced landing.

The Vintage Air Rally, including biplanes built in the 1920s and 1930s, has flown from Europe past Egypt's pyramids and through Sudan and Ethiopia, where participants were briefly detained because of a dispute over whether they had proper authorization.

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Spectators react as a plane flies over them during the Vintage Air Rally at the Nairobi national park in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)

A plane prepares to take-off from a dirt road used as a makeshift runway during the Vintage Air Rally at the Nairobi national park in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

A child covers his ears from the noise as vintage biplanes perform a flyover after arriving in Nairobi National Park in Kenya, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Around 20 vintage airplanes arrived in Nairobi after they were released from two days' detention by Ethiopian authorities, to continue their flights down the African continent from Crete to Cape Town as part of a trans-Africa air rally.

(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

A biplane flies over spectators during the Vintage Air Rally at the Nairobi national park in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)

A biplane performs a flyover after arriving in Nairobi National Park in Kenya Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Around 20 vintage airplanes arrived in Nairobi after they were released from two days' detention by Ethiopian authorities, to continue their flights down the African continent from Crete to Cape Town as part of a trans-Africa air rally.

(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

A biplane flies over spectators during the Vintage Air Rally at the Nairobi national park in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)

A spectator takes a selfie in front of a non-vintage support aircraft that landed in Nairobi National Park in Kenya, 3Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Around 20 vintage airplanes arrived in Nairobi after they were released from two days' detention by Ethiopian authorities, to continue their flights down the African continent from Crete to Cape Town as part of a trans-Africa air rally.

(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

An aviation official and spectators wave as a plane flies over them during the Vintage Air Rally at the Nairobi national park in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)

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"We did lose an aircraft," he said of Saturday's incident, when a vintage Boeing Stearman suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing northwest of Nairobi. The plane was "written off" but the crew were fine, Rutherford said.

The rally also briefly lost track of veteran pilot Maurice Kirk and his plane after the stop in Ethiopia last week. He was located on Saturday after landing in South Sudan, but not on a airfield, the organizers said.

Kirk and his plane are no longer part of the rally.

The remaining planes and support aircraft will continue their journey south on Monday, heading to Tanzania. They aim to reach Cape Town, South Africa, in about two weeks.

The rally began in Greece with several teams flying 24 aircraft, including support planes. The organizers did not say how many planes were still involved, but said it was not a surprise some would not complete the journey.

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