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Search suspended for missing PFS aircraft due to bad weather

February 27, 2018 5:27 am

Divisional Police Commander North Verani Nakauyaca has confirmed to FBC News the search and rescue operation has now been suspended due to bad weather.

DPC Nakauyaca says the ground search teams have been called back to their operational base in Doguru, Labasa after heavy rainfall and fog hindered their visibility with the three rescue teams now limiting their search in Delaikoro.

FBC News Journalist Elenoa Turagaiviu who is currently in Doguru says the weather has been a hindrance.

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“The aerial search for the missing plane was called off earlier today due to the continuous rain and thick fog covering the mountains where the plane is believed to have crashed. After the initial one hour search this morning, the helicopter returned to Waiqele airport to wait for the rain to ease abit and the fog to disappear. Another attempt for an aerial survey at around midday also didn’t last long and just a while ago the three teams conducting the search on foot was called back to Dogoru village. They are being helped by villagers who heard and saw the plane at about midday yesterday. All together there are about 30 police and military officers involved in the search and rescue mission at Dogoru. Another team is involved in the searching of the Waikisi Mountains as well as the mountains in the Suweni area. The search will resume at 8 tomorrow morning. ”

Meanwhile, the Pacific Flying School says the search for the missing Cessna 172 aircraft DQ-FTR is continuing.

PFS says there is an extensive search operation underway involving aerial and ground crews working together.

The company is in regular communications with the next of kin of the two pilots on board the aircraft and is offering support.

The missing Cessna 172 training aircraft lost communication with the Airports Fiji Tower at 12.30pm yesterday.

On board the flight was Instructor– Iliesa Tawalo and trainee Merelesita Lutu who were making their way to Savusavu to land.

However due to the weather, they were unable to land in Savusavu and made their way back to Labasa.

This was where they lost communication and were reported missing.

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