MISSING AIRCRAFT: Mr Toole said the previous owner of the gyrocopter was piloting the aircraft a few years ago when it was forced to land at his property due to bad weather.
MISSING AIRCRAFT: Mr Toole said the previous owner of the gyrocopter was piloting the aircraft a few years ago when it was forced to land at his property due to bad weather. Contributed

Missing aircraft had previous emergency landing on Cap Coast

THE missing gyrocopter on a flight to Yeppoon has previously been forced into an emergency landing on a Capricorn Coast airstrip.

Tungamull property owner and experienced aviator Roger Toole, who joined an extensive search for the aircraft this morning after he was contacted by the Aviation search and rescue team in Canberra, said he was familiar with the gyrocopter which now belonged to a Farnborough man.

Mr Toole, who was contacted by The Morning Bulletin this morning, said the previous owner of the gyrocopter was piloting the aircraft a few years ago when it was forced to land at his property due to bad weather.

He was in the process of delivering it to the current owner at the time.

 

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

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

The gyrocopter and its 78-year-old male pilot were reported as missing when the man failed to reach his destination.

An extensive search party, which includes four rescue helicopters, two of which are from the Sunshine Coast, is trying to locate the man and aircraft.

BREAKING: Elderly chopper pilot missing off CQ Coast

After searching across the Central Queensland coastline, including Curtis Island, Gladstone, Yeppoon, Emu Park and Farnborough Beach, the focus was now on Curtis Island.

Mr Toole, who was asked to check nearby airstrips, said he advised the search teams that the pilot may have taken another route home due to good weather.

He was also able to advise the Aviation search and rescue team of one landing strip they were unaware of.

 

The search area in Central Queensland where helicopters are looking.
The search area in Central Queensland where helicopters are looking. CONTRIBUTED

"It was such a beautiful day yesterday he could have taken an alternate route, so I've given them that route and they're looking at it now," he said.

Mr Toole said it was believed the 78-year-old pilot was flying to Farnborough via Agnes Waters and Boyne Island.

"He might have gone outside of the eastern side of Curtis Island because it was a beautiful day, it was calm as a milk bottle," he said.

Although Mr Toole doesn't know the pilot, he has seen the gyrocopter fly over his property and the Rosslyn Bay Marina in the past.

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

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



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