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Search for overdue aircraft resumes near Vunikavula hills

February 26, 2018 7:04 pm

The search for the overdue Cessna 172 training aircraft resumed this morning after the search was called off at the Korotari Mountains outside Labasa last night.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro says the search is being conducted by the Police and the military adding it was called off due to bad weather.

Naisoro says the search is currently underway near Vunikavula hills.

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She adds there was no development on the missing plane and the two passengers when the search was called off.

The Pacific Flying School says the aircraft was under the command of Iliesa Tawalo who was overseeing training for two students.

PFS says one of the students, got off in Labasa while Tawalo and the remaining student continued their training to Savusavu.

The intention was to land in Savusavu but apparently the weather was not conducive for the aircraft to land and they decided to try to get to Labasa.

That was the last communication between the aircraft and the Airports Fiji Limited Tower.

Meanwhile, Korotari resident Pradeep Lal told FBC News the weather is clearing up this morning adding there’s a high possibility of better search to be conducted by the rescue teams.

He says compared to yesterday, the mountainous area of Korotari was cloudy which contributed to the difficulty in searching the area however residents hope the clear weather will give good news today.

Navakuru village headman Ratu Vere Wawatabua says there was difficulty in searching for the overdue plane as it was dark and raining.

Meanwhile, Airports Fiji Limited says the aircraft was overdue after failing to report to Labasa Airport at around 12.15pm yesterday afternoon.

A search team was activated yesterday afternoon to search for the training aircraft which was last seen over Korotari in Labasa around 12:30pm.

Three teams which is headed by the Divisional Commander North are currently searching the Korotari area.

There are two search teams combing the areas of Doguru and Delaikoro and teh Pacific Flying School will also be doing a aerial search this morning.

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