Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 25, 2014 16:50:40 GMT 12
ZK-DJK - Picture from Trademe dated March 2014
Search for missing aircraft
Tuesday, 25 March 2014, 4:46 pm Press Release: Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand
25 March 2014
Search for missing aircraft
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is calling for any sightings of a home-built acrobatic bi-plane which took off from Ardmore airfield, south east of Auckland, at around 11.30ambut disappeared from radar.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Controller Neville Blakemore said the distinctive blue and white, open cockpit, twin winged aircraft has a potential range of around 700km with a full tank of fuel, which would have been exhausted at around 2pm.
The plane, carrying only the 53-year-old male pilot from Mt Wellington, was initially heading in a north-easterly direction toward Ponui Island when it disappeared from radar, shortly after take-off.
Mr Blakemore said the man’s partner raised the alarm after concerns for his safety. Police are assisting with the search.
“No distress beacon has been activated but this is being treated as a distress situation,” Mr Blakemore said.
“We have checked with airfields in the region and there have been no reports of the plane landing. The plane would have been flying at low level and we would like anyone who has seen it to contact us so we can establish the likely route it has taken.”
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 25, 2014 21:13:42 GMT 12
Plane search called off for night Kate Newton in Auckland Updated at 8:35 pm today
The search for a one-man plane and its pilot missing since taking off from an Auckland airfield has been called off and will resume on Wednesday.
The Rescue Co-ordination Centre said the home-built aerobatic bi-plane disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from Ardmore airfield at about 11.30am on Tuesday.
It was carrying only the 53-year-old male pilot, whose partner raised the alarm after becoming concerned for his safety.
The centre's mission controller, Neville Blakemore, said no distress beacon had been activated. The centre had received several reports from the public of a plane flying at low level, and the centre was analysing those reports to establish where to look.
Mr Blakemore said searching for the distinctive blue-and-white plane, with twin wings and an open cockpit, would resume at first light on Wednesday.
The plan was heading north-east towards the Hauraki Gulf when it took off and would have run out of fuel at about 2pm if it was still in the air.
Mr Blakemore said it had not landed at any of the airfields in the region.
Centre spokesperson Steve Rendall said the pilot was experienced and, while his exact route was not known, he was expected to head back to Ardmore.
"It's an aircraft that can land in a short distance and the pilot is, we're told, an experienced and skillful pilot," Mr Rendall said.
"We understand his cellphone was left in his car, so that wouldn't have been an option for him."
A Westpac Trust helicopter, along with an Airforce Orion, had joined the search for the plane, he said.
Still no news on this one... quite odd. Maybe there is a government cover up?
In all seriousness it is yet another illustration of the problems with relying on ELT beacons for SAR location. There are far better technologies around such as active GPS tracking systems that should be considered. It seems flawed logic to rely on a device that has to withstand an accident in order to function, instead of something that provides the information by ceasing to function.
I hope they find this aeroplane soon, at least there is good weather for the search.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by FlyingKiwi on Apr 23, 2014 19:41:07 GMT 12
There is a Tomahawk still missing somewhere (probably) in the Hunuas, and I think a couple of Corsairs went missing in the Auckland area in WWII and weren't ever found although they could quite possibly have gone into the sea. Nice to think they might still be sitting somewhere in the bush waiting for some lucky person to stumble across, but that's probably being a bit optimistic.
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2014 19:42:02 GMT 12 by FlyingKiwi
The missing Tomahawk was thought to be for similar reasons at the time. A Cherokee went missing also and was stumbled across by hunters, I recall 8 years after it went missing. That was weather related. The Tomahawk went missing on a fine day.