Peter Jackson's jet helps in MH370 search

Last updated 10:40 02/04/2014

Australian search agency boss says calculations suggest teams are in the right area of the southern Indian Ocean for missing airliner.

Peter Jackson's jet
HELPING SEARCH: Sir Peter Jackson's private Gulfstream G650 jet.

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Sir Peter Jackson's $80 million private jet is involved in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

A spokesman for Jackson confirmed today that the plane had been chartered and was being operated out of Perth.

Flight MH370 disappeared about an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, with 239 people, including two New Zealanders, on board. It is believed to have changed course and to have crashed into the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

The spokesman would not comment on why the private jet was being used, except to say the Gulfstream G650 had exceptional range that would be an advantage given the remoteness of the search area.

The aircraft was advertised for charter.

"Over the years all of Peter's aircraft have been available for charter and been used by a number of private clients," the spokesman said.

The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre, which is co-ordinating the Perth-based search, said a civilian jet was being used as a communications relay for military aircraft searching for the airliner. It would not comment further, Radio NZ reported.

The G650 flies faster and further than any aircraft used by the New Zealand Air Force.

Its top speed of about 1140kmh is close to the speed of sound (1234kmh), and it has a range of 12,960 kilometres, allowing non-stop flights between Wellington and Los Angeles.

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