It’s been 5 days since a Newcastle Pilot and his aircraft went missing, and there is still no sign of either after intense searches.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and KwaZulu-Natal police have been assisting the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) to keep a vigil for a Foxbat Tricycle-Gear Ultra Light Aircraft, call sign ZUPCB, and the 61-year-old pilot, who went missing on Wednesday, June 6 during a flight from Newcastle in KZN.
NSRI rescue stations between St Lucia and East London were requested to search for signs of the craft along the coastline of KZN and to include areas as far as Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth.
They have also asked members of the public, recreational sea going craft, fishermen, ships at sea and coastal boat clubs, hikers, anglers, lifeguards, NSRI coast watchers, coastal resorts and bathers to alert them immediately if they come across debris washing ashore, as that might be related to this case.
Chief of the ARCC, Santjie White, said that the extensive search Northwards of Mabibi takes into account Northwards sea drift currents in the possibility that the aircraft ditched close inshore and the extensive search Southwards of Mabibi, to as far afield as East London, takes into account if the aircraft ditched in the sea further off-shore with the Southwards sea drift currents further out to sea.
An extensive land search has also yielded no sign of the missing aircraft or pilot. ARCC requested aircraft flying along the coastline to also keep an eye out for debris or any clues that could assist in the search.
Please contact [email protected] or call +27 82 380 3800 if you have any information that could assist the search parties.