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Search for missing aircraft in Torres Strait concludes

Wednesday 2 March 2011

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre—Australia (RCC) has concluded a search for a missing aircraft with a 37-year-old male pilot on board.

The aircraft was last heard from at approximately 7:49am (AEST) on Thursday 24 February 2011 as it approached Horn Island.

Throughout the duration of the search, a total of 131 aircraft (helicopters and fixed wing) were tasked by the RCC to search an area from Cape York to Moa Island, approximately 2500 square nautical miles involving water, land and shoreline over the last six days.

Assistance has been provided by Queensland Police, the Queensland State Emergency Service and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Several plastic storage containers and a document confirmed as being from the aircraft have been located in the water over the past 24 hours.

The recovery of items in the vicinity of Dugong Islet (80 kilometres east of Horn Island) indicates the aircraft most likely crashed into the sea on Thursday 24 February.

Medical advice is that there is no longer a prospect of survival of the pilot.