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Invercargill Man in Search for Missing Flight MH370

03 April 2014

Invercargill Man in Search for Missing Flight MH370

Air Force operational pilot Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Dave Smith is one of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion crew searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.
Born and raised in Invercargill, FLTLT Smith is currently based with No. 5 Squadron at RNZAF Base Auckland at Whenuapai.

“We carry out maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, Exclusive Economic Zone patrols, and anti-submarine and surface unit warfare, but we are probably best known to the public for our search and rescue work,” said FLTLT Smith.
FLTLT Smith has previously been involved in dramatic searches; the search for Amaltal Columbia, which was a large fishing vessel that caught fire off the coast of Christchurch, and the Windigo which was a yacht that capsized 1260km NW of New Zealand.

“I have been involved in a number of challenging search and rescue missions, it’s a pretty satisfying job.”

The search for MH370 is one of the largest the RNZAF has ever been involved in. The search area is bigger than the size of New Zealand.
“We are constantly thinking of the families and friends affected by the tragedy of MH370, it gives us the motivation to do our very best every time we search,” he said.

No. 5 Squadron maintains an Orion aircraft at two hours readiness to get airborne, with twelve aircrew and eight maintenance personnel on standby 24/7, 365 days of the year.


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