Crash site found for missing plane

UPDATE 9.40am: THE crash site for overdue aircraft Mooney M20 has been found but it will still take time for police to access the site from the ground.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has located the crash site of a missing Mooney M20 in rugged terrain in the Mid North Coast area.

AMSA has been responding to reports of the overdue aircraft since Friday morning.

The aircraft, a Mooney M20 with two people on board, departed from Murwillumbah at 6.30am on Friday and was expected to arrive at Taree by 8am the same day.

AMSA was contacted by associates of the pilot who raised concerns when the aircraft did not arrive at its destination.

About 6.30am on Saturday the Westpac rescue helicopter located the crash site in the search area about 27 kilometres west of Coffs Harbour.

The search area was based on the last contact with the aircraft's transponder.

The Westpac helicopter was unable to winch a person down due to poor weather conditions with rain and low clouds extending to ground level.

NSW Police are now attempting to access the site from the ground.

This is will take some time as the site is located in steep and heavily wooded terrain and weather conditions in the area remain poor.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) have been informed and will be responsible for any investigation into the crash.

AMSA would like to thank all those involved in this difficult search.


UPDATE 9.23am Sep 21: THE search for missing aircraft Mooney M20 will recommence this morning.

Weather conditions in the area are reported to be very poor with low clouds and low visibility.

There is two people believed to be on board.

NSW Police said they will be working with AMSA to assist the search on the ground which may include searching by foot and with trail bikes in remote areas.

NSW State emergency services will also be recruited.


UPDATE 4.30pm: THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter is currently assisting AMSA to reports of a overdue aircraft in the Mid North Coast region.

"The overdue aircraft, a Mooney M20, departed Murwillumbah at 6:30am today and was expected to arrive at Taree by 8:30am," a spokesman said.

"The Westpac Rescue Helicopter with Critical Care Medical Team on board is working along side the Essendon based AMSA Search and Rescue Jet to conduct a search along the aircrafts likely route.


An AMSA spokesperson said aircraft are currently searching an area about 27 kilometres west of Coffs Harbour based on the last signal from the aircraft's transponder.

"Weather conditions in the area are reported to be very poor with low clouds and low visibility."


ORIGINAL STORY: POLICE are searching for a missing light aircraft near Coffs Harbour after the plane lost all communication earlier today.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) confirmed the Mooney aircraft failed to complete a trip between Murwillumbah and Taree on Friday morning.

The four-seat, single engine Mooney aircraft had two people on board.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said police were advised about 11.45am today when aircraft had faded off the radar.

"Last known communication was at 7.30am today," she said.

Police are said to be searching for the plane west of Coffs Harbour.