Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tragic End in Search for Missing Plane near Gympie

Source:  ABC

In a tragic end to a three-day search, the wreckage of the light plane belonging to missing Queensland pilot Rob Pavan has been found near Gympie on Monday 20 April.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Mr Pavan could not have survived the high speed crash, but by late Monday afternoon they were yet to locate his body.  A farmer reportedly found Mr Pavan's crashed Jabiru J-258 near the town of Woolooga, about 39 kilometres north-west of Gympie.

ABC News / http://www.abc.net.au/

When a rescue chopper had trouble accessing the mountainous crash site, the farmer drove to the scene with police in four-wheel drives.  Authorities eventually confirmed the wreckage, strewn across the mountain over several hundred metres, was that of Mr Pavan's plane.

AMSA has stated that Mr Pavan did not issue a mayday call before the crash and his personal locator beacon was not activated, which made the search difficult.

It is not known what caused the crash but there had been reports of bad weather in the area.

AMSA said five fixed-wing aircraft and 12 helicopters took part in the third straight day of searching for Mr Pavan's plane, which disappeared on Saturday 18 April.

The solo pilot, an experienced aviator, had just completed a trip around Australia.

He took off from Gympie on Saturday morning en route to a small airstrip at Dixalea, about 90 kilometres west of Gladstone.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Paven's family and friends.

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