Searchers draw blank in biplane search

Last updated 09:19 01/04/2014

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Searchers looking for a missing biplane will today determine where they look next for the aircraft that has been missing for a week.

The home-made aerobatic aircraft left Ardmore, south of Auckland, last Tuesday but disappeared from the radar shortly after take-off.

Pilot Dariosh Kraidy, 53, of Mt Wellington, was the only person on board.

A Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ ) spokesman said an air force helicopter and other crews had scoured a range of areas, stretching from the Coromandel Peninsula, to Wainuiototo Bay and the northern end of the Firth of Thames.

He said teams would meet this morning to decide the next course of action.

"It's a case of looking through all information received and all the operations that have been carried out to establish every possible avenue that's being investigated," he said.

The missing plane was heading in a northeasterly direction when it took off.

RCCNZ mission co-ordinator Dave Wilson said all search activities were being reviewed to identify areas warranting further investigation.

"We are endeavouring to build a full picture of the route the pilot may have taken," he said.

"We are still receiving reported sightings from members of the public who believe they may have seen the plane on Tuesday and these are being evaluated as we consider the next steps in the operation."

Anyone who has seen the distinctive blue and white plane or has any information that might help the search should contact RCCNZ on 0508 472 269 or the police.

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- Stuff

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