The RACQ Capricorn Rescue helicopter searching for the pilot and his gyrocopter this morning. Picture: RACQ
The RACQ Capricorn Rescue helicopter searching for the pilot and his gyrocopter this morning. Picture: RACQ

BREAKING: Missing CQ pilot found dead in wreckage

UPDATED 9.30AM:

A SIGHTING reported by a 14-year-old boy led the search and rescue operation to the crash site of the 78-year-old man and gyrocopter.  

The man was found deceased early this morning in bushland near Baffle Creek.

An operation is now underway to retrieve the man's body.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority found the wreckage this morning after a 14-year-old Baffle Creek boy reported the sighting yesterday. 

AMSA Response Centre Manager Alan Lloyd acknowledged the young man from Baffle Creek who responded to AMSA's call for assistance in gathering information.

"The information provided by this young man was exactly what our officers needed to narrow the search and find the missing aircraft. He showed great initiative and responsibility in reporting what he saw to AMSA," Mr Lloyd said.

 

UPDATED 7.35AM:

DESPERATE search operations are continuing for the missing 78-year-old pilot and the gyrocopter with 10 rescue helicopters in the air this morning.

Lifeflight pilot Peter Marris said it was crucial the missing pilot was found today. 

"The first 24-48 hours are critical in case he is not deceased, so we can still render assistance," Mr Marris said.

"The first two days are the survivability period, from then on the chances diminish significantly."

It is believed the rescue helicopters camped at Bundaberg Airport last night. 

Today Queensland Police will conduct a ground search of the area south of Baffle Creek.

The gyrocopter with one person on-board took off from Booyan Airstrip, 22 kilometres north of Bundaberg, at 1.45pm yesterday on a trip to Farnborough just north of Yeppoon.

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.

 

 

EARLIER:

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

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.O

Today 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.

Nothing of interest was found during today's search, Lifeflight pilot Peter Marris said.

Mr Marris said the search and rescue operation would involve every asset possible tomorrow after a 6am briefing.

 

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

"The first 24-48 hours are critical in case he is not deceased, so we can still render assistance," Mr Marris said.

"The first two days are the survivability period, from then on the chances diminish significantly."

Mr Marris was involved in the day search on Thursday, where they covered an area to Yeppoon and back to Gladstone in the morning, and south of Baffle Creek in the afternoon.

"It's such a big search area ... we're really hoping to find a needle in a haystack," he said.

He said the challenge was narrowing down the search area.

Search operations have been suspended tonight and will resume at first light tomorrow.

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.



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