RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue has searched along the Central Queensland coast overnight for a missing gyrocopter.
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue has searched along the Central Queensland coast overnight for a missing gyrocopter. RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue

BREAKING: More assets join desperate search for pilot

UPDATE 7.30PM: 

A JET and ten rescue helicopters will continue the desperate search for a 78-year-old pilot and a gyrocopter tomorrow.

The pilot has not been seen since they took off from Booyan Airstrip, 22 kilometres north of Bundaberg, at 1.45pm Wednesday on a trip to Farnborough just north of Yeppoon, which would normally take two hours.

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Tomorrow the search will focus on an area south of Baffle Creek, after AMSA received an unconfirmed by credible sighting by a member of the public.

Queensland Police will conduct a ground search.

UPDATE 1.15PM: 

IT'S been almost 24-hours since a 78-year-old pilot went missing on a journey that was only meant to take two hours.

With no confirmed sightings of the aircraft since it left the Bundaberg airstrip at 1.45pm yesterday rescue crews are working tirelessly.

Six rescue helicopters from across the state are still searching for the missing pilot and gyrocopter. 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority revealed the pilot took off from Booyan Airstrip, 22 kilometres north of Bundaberg, at 1.45pm yesterday on a trip to Farnborough just north of Yeppoon - a regular route for the 78-year-old. 

AMSA was contacted by Queensland Police about 11.50pm last night after they received a report that the gyrocopter had not arrived at its destination on time.The journey was expected to take two hours. 

According to NMSA, the gyrocopter would have likely been flying low and could have travelled over the towns of 1770, Agnes Waters, Tannum Sands, Gladstone, Emu Park and Yeppoon.

AMSA tasked two rescue helicopters to conduct a night vision search along the route last night. AMSA's Challenger Search and Rescue jet from Cairns joined the search at first light this morning.

AMSA is requesting that anyone who thinks they may have seen or heard a gyrocopter in the area between Bundaberg and Yeppoon between the hours of 1pm and 6pm yesterday to call the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre on 1800 815 257 with any information.


UPDATE 11.30AM:

FOUR rescue helicopters are turning their search mission to Curtis Island after scanning high-and-low across the Central Queensland coastline. 

RACQ Capricornia Helicopter Rescue Service reported the rescue choppers have refuelled and are now resuming the new search at Curtis Island to find the 78-year-old pilot and the recreational chopper. 

 

UPDATE 10.20AM: 

TWO Sunshine Coast rescue choppers have joined the rescue mission to help find the 78-year-old missing pilot.

The pilot disappeared yesterday shortly after taking off in a gyrocopter just after midday from Bundaberg airfield. 

RACQ Capricornia Rescue Helicopter Service spokeswoman said a chopper from Cairns and Bundaberg were also helping search for the missing man and the chopper.

"Our crew have come back to re-fuel and are heading out again shortly," she said.

 

UPDATE 9.30AM:

HELICOPTER rescue services are now searching  the coastline of Curtis Island, Gladstone, Yeppoon, Emu Park and Farnborough Beach for a missing gyrocopter and its 78-year-old pilot. 

RACQ Capricorn helicopter rescue services confirmed the aircraft was officially reported as missing after it departed from the Bundaberg area at 1.30pm yesterday afternoon and failed to reach its destination.

Shortly after the crew were tasked to conduct a search

A spokeswoman from RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service said the crew departed early this morning at 4am and again at 7.45am. 

The 78-year-old man is believed to be the only occupant. 

If you saw a gyrocopter between Bundaberg and Yeppoon around 1pm yesterday, call AMSA's rescue coordination number on 1800 815 257.

EARLIER 8.15AM:

AN EXTENSIVE search party in Central Queensland is trying to locate a pilot and a gyrocopter which has been missing since yesterday. 

The aircraft, which is believed to have taken off from a small Bundaberg airfield between 1pm and 6pm, is now missing between Gladstone and Yeppoon.

The flight was expected to take two hours. 

Two RACQ rescue helicopters with night vision technology and an Australian Maritime Safety Authority search and rescue jet from Cairns searched the coastline overnight. 

A spokeswoman from the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Service said crews were continuing the search this morning. 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is also pleading for public assistance to narrow down the search for the chopper and pilot.

An AMSA spokesperson said the pilot left an airfield at Bundaberg between 1pm and 6pm yesterday afternoon and has not been seen since.

It's believed the gyrocopter would have flown quite low along the Central Queensland coast, including over Seventeen Seventy, Gladstone, Tannum Sands, Emu Park and Yeppon.

A gyrocopter is a very small helicopter with a rotating wing.

If you saw a gyrocopter between Bundaberg and Yeppoon around 1pm yesterday, call the AMSA's rescue coordination number on 1800 815 257.



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