1 Apr 2014

Fate of missing plane may never be known

1:41 pm on 1 April 2014

The search for a small plane missing for a week has been called off, and it may never be known what happened to the plane and its pilot.

The home-built aerobatic plane disappeared from radar late on the morning of Tuesday 25 March, minutes after taking off from Ardmore airfield south of Auckland, heading north-east towards the Hauraki Gulf.

A Rescue Coordination Centre coordinator, Geoff Lunt, says no one knows what happened after that, and several air searches around the Coromandel Peninsula have been fruitless.

The centre says its decision to suspend the search has not been taken lightly, but all likely scenarios have now been covered. It says it can start again at very short notice if new information comes to light.