The brother of pilot Daroish Kraidy, whose plane is
missing off the Coromandel coast, says he may yet be found
The 53-year-old's aerobatic biplane disappeared from radar
detection shortly after take-off on Tuesday morning, and
neither he nor his homemade plane has been seen since.
Mr Kraidy's brother Deon, 51, said last night that he was
still holding out hope for Daroish.
Speaking from his home in Hoedspruit, South Africa, Mr Kraidy
said there was a chance his brother had crash-landed
somewhere and was still alive.
The family in South Africa were mostly holding together "all
right" as they awaited further news, although their father
"is not taking it very well".
Today, searchers from police are focusing one three different
locations around Coromandel.
The Auckland Police launch Deodar III and the Police National
Dive Squad will focus on Wainuiototo Bay, near where another
search team spotted what looked like a small oil slick
yesterday morning. The oil slick was not located yesterday
but the Police Dive Squad will today conduct a grid search of
the area for any sign of the missing aircraft.
An RNZAF Iroquois Helicopter will search the eastern side of
Coromandel Peninsula, from Cape Colville down to Matarangi.
The Philips Rescue Trust Helicopter out of Hamilton will
search a bush area to the south of Miranda near the bottom of
the Firth of Thames
Information from the public is assisting rescuers to identify
areas to cover according to Rescue Coordination Centre
(RCCNZ) Mission Controller Greg Johnston.
Daroish Kraidy has a 21-year-old son in New Zealand and a
24-year-old daughter in Australia. He divorced his wife "not
too long ago", his brother said.
As well as Deon, his sister and father also live in his
native South Africa.
Deon - who is also an aviator and runs a flight training
school - said Daroish was a "very experienced" pilot who used
to be a jet pilot in the South African air force.
He had been a pilot for about 35 years, Deon said, and had
lived in New Zealand for the past "13 or 14" years. He had
represented New Zealand at the Precision Flying World
No distress beacon had been activated from Mr Kraidy's plane.
RCCNZ said it was grateful for information provided by the
public and asked anyone who had seen the plane on Tuesday or
had any information that might assist the search to contact
RCCNZ on 0508 472 269 or the police.
- Sam Boyer and APNZ