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Navy locates missing plane off north coast

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A Cessna 172RG for hire from Northern Rivers Aero Club is the missing plane.
A Cessna 172RG similar to the missing plane.

A light plane missing off Byron Bay since March has been located, after police requested Navy assistance in the search.

Shortly after 4pm on Monday 21 March 2016, a light aircraft, piloted by a 46-year-old man left Lismore but failed to return.

The plane was believed to have disappeared from radar about six nautical miles north east of Cape Byron.

Despite an air and water search coordinated by AMSA, the plane was not located.

NSW Water Police and divers conducted a side scan sonar search of approximately 1.5 square miles of ocean floor, however no wreckage was recovered as the ocean depths were beyond the capabilities of the equipment used by police.

A request was forwarded to the Royal Australian Navy to assist in the search.

Yesterday, Thursday, a Navy minesweeper was deployed to the search area off Byron Bay.

About 12.20am today (Friday 10 June 2016), the Navy vessel located three large pieces of wreckage in approximately 73 metres of water.

The wreckage was surveyed and filmed by the Navy. The body of the 46-year-old man was not located.

Police said it was not anticipated that the wreckage would be salvaged. There are no suspicious circumstances.

Video of the wreckage can be seen by following this link:

http://video.defence.gov.au/play/wwdWMyNDE6tyPIOcjW_JrfzgBf8nuRQA#

 


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