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Search for missing aircraft targets three areas

Search for missing aircraft targets three areas


The search for the missing aircraft which took off from Ardmore airfield, south-east of Auckland at 11.25am on Tuesday will resume today with three different search areas being targeted.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) Mission Controller Greg Johnston said information from the public was continuing to assist the searchers in identifying areas to cover.

Searching today would focus on three areas around the Coromandel.

The Auckland Police launch Deodar III and the Police National Dive Squad would today focus on Wainuiototo Bay , near where another search team spotted what looked like a small oil slick yesterday morning. Searching yesterday failed to locate the oil slick but the Police Dive Squad would today conduct a grid search of the area for any sign of the missing aircraft.

An RNZAF Iroquois Helicopter would search the eastern side of Coromandel Peninsula, from Cape Colville down to Matarangi.

The Philips Rescue Trust Helicopter out of Hamilton would search a bush area to the south of Miranda near the bottom of the Firth of Thames

The home-built aerobatic bi-plane, carrying only the 53-year-old male pilot from Mt Wellington, was heading in a north-easterly direction when it disappeared from radar, shortly after take-off. No distress beacon was activated, but the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) launched a search after a friend of the pilot reported concern for his safety.

Reported sightings by members of the public indicate the aircraft may have continued flying in a north-easterly direction.

Mr Johnston said RCCNZ was grateful for information provided by the public and asked anyone who had seen the plane on Tuesday 25th or had any information that might assist the search to contact RCCNZ on 0508 472 269 or the Police.

ENDS

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