Search crews will comb coastline around the northern part of
the Coromandel Peninsular and the barrier islands today,
hoping to find a small plane that went missing yesterday.
The home-built acrobatic biplane took off from Ardmore
airfield near Auckland at 11:25 yesterday morning and dropped
off the radar shortly afterwards.
A number of sighting reports from the public were being
followed up, and the search today would focus on the areas
mentioned, while consideration would be given to any new
information received, said Rescue Coordination Centre Search
and Rescue Mission Controller Greg Johnston.
The Auckland Westpac Trust helicopter will conduct a
coastline search of the top part of the Coromandel Peninsular
and the barrier islands while an RNZAF P3 Orion will be
searching an area to the north and east of Great Barrier
The 53-year-old male pilot from Mt Wellington was the only
person on board the distinctive blue and white plane.
The alarm was raised by his partner who became concerned for
It is was believed the light aircraft had a potential range
of around 300km in its fuel tank, which would have run out
around 1.30pm, Mr Rendle said, contrary to earlier reports of
a 700km range.
It was initially flying in a northeasterly direction towards
Anyone who saw the plane or knows anything about its location
is asked to contact RCCNZ on 0508 472 269.