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Search for missing aircraft in Antarctica - update #7

26 January 2013, 8.30am

Efforts to locate three Canadians who’ve gone missing during a flight from the South Pole to Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica will continue today, as weather conditions improve.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the search, working with United States and Canadian authorities, after the missing Twin Otter aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter was activated at about 10pm on Wednesday, 23 January.

A Twin Otter aircraft is scheduled to fly from the Darwin glacier area this morning to Beardmore glacier base, which is about 50km away from where the emergency beacon was transmitting, to set up camp. As soon as the weather clears, two helicopters based at McMurdo station will be flown to the camp to undertake an aerial search for the missing plane.

Despite several planes searching for the aircraft since the beacon was activated on Wednesday night at 10pm no visual sightings have been possible due to poor visibility and snow. 

The location is at a height of 3,900m (13,000 feet) at the northern end of the Queen Alexandra Range, within New Zealand’s Search and Rescue Region – halfway between the South Pole and McMurdo Station (approximately 680km or 370 nautical miles in each direction).

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said the crew of the missing aircraft have survival equipment and are well trained for the harsh environment.

An update on the search and rescue effort will be provided on the Maritime New Zealand website as soon as there are any further developments.

For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318

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