Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pilot Rob Pavan believed dead as authorities find plane wreckage north-west of Gympie: Jabiru 258, 19-7621

Wreckage of the light plane belonging to missing Queensland pilot Rob Pavan has been found in southern Queensland.

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.

AMSA media coordinator Andrea Hayward-Maher said a farmer found Mr Pavan's crashed Jabiru near the town of Woolooga, about 39 kilometres north-west of Gympie.

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.

Ms Hayward-Maher said Mr Pavan did not issue a mayday call before the crash and his personal locator beacon was not activated, which made the search difficult.

"He hasn't made it too far, unfortunately, before this crash occurred," she said.

"He hasn't survived the high-impact crash. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the pilot.

"This has been a really tough few days for them."

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.

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 about 90 kilometres west of Gladstone, in central Queensland.

AMSA was alerted when Mr Pavan failed to arrive and a search began about 4:15pm on Saturday.

Rob Pavan has not been seen since taking off from Gympie Saturday.

An extensive air search will resume today for a recreational pilot who vanished during a solo flight at the weekend.

Rob Pavan has not been seen or heard of since taking off from Gympie at 9.30am on Saturday for Dixalea, 87km west of Gladstone.

Thirteen helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft scoured the flight path yesterday but found no sign of the missing plane.

The air search focused on an area of 5740sq km northwest of Gympie and southeast of Monto.

Mr. Pavan had been due at a private airstrip at Dixalea at about 11.30am on Saturday.

Authorities say weather conditions were not ideal when the enthusiast took off on what should have been a straightforward two-hour flight.

Mr. Pavan was piloting a Jabiru, a popular light recreational kit-form aircraft manufactured in Bundaberg.

Late last year the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority invoked flying limitations on planes with Jabiru engines because of a “heightened risk” of engine failure.

Jabiru must only operate during the day, avoid populous areas and passengers must sign statements saying they have been warned of the risks of engine failure.

Gympie Aero Club president Gary Haynes said Mr Pavan was an experienced aircraft builder and pilot.

An online post from 2011 indicates that he assembled the Jabiru J258 kit plane. Mr.  Haynes said club members were concerned for Mr.  Pavan because it was unusual for a pilot to alter a flight plan without alerting family or friends.

“You usually don’t land somewhere else if you don’t tell somebody about it,” said Mr.  Haynes.

“We are all concerned because when one of your members has gone missing and you can’t find him that is a worry.”

Mr.  Haynes said the missing pilot had a hangar which housed two planes at the Gympie Airport.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the search.

Anyone who saw a light plane operating to the north west of Gympie between 9.30am and 11.20am on Saturday should contact AMSA Search and Rescue on 1800 815 257.

Original article can be found here:

One of two helicopters seen in the Coalstoun Lakes area this afternoon searching for the missing plane.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority has focussed their search for the missing light plane today between Gympie and Monto.

No comments:

Post a Comment