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Air Force Iroquois Helicopters Join In Search For Missing Aircraft

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

22 July -- An Air Force Iroquois helicopter has been called in to assist Rescue Coordination Centre NZ with the search for an overdue civilian aircraft approximately 50 nautical miles NNE of New Plymouth. A beacon is transmitting from the aircraft, believed to be in rough terrain. The Iroquois which is both night vision and winch capable, launched approximately midnight and arrived in the search area at 2am this morning. Due to poor weather and low cloud on the ridge tops, the Iroquois was unable to get to the exact location, "the winds made flying very challenging" said Flight Lieutenant Paul Aitken, the Iroquois Captain.

A second Iroquois launched from Ohakea has now replaced the first helicopter and departed at first light to assist insert ground search teams into the area. An Air Force fuel tanker has also been dispatched to provide a refuel option closer to the search area.

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