Police search for missing plane suspended

Family photo (North Wales Police)

The search for a missing plane off the east coast of Anglesey has been suspended because of poor weather.

Police divers have been looking for the light Cessna aircraft since it disappeared in the Penmon area last week (Monday 25th November).

Only the pilot, Professor David Last (79), was on board when the plane lost radar contact. It was making a return flight from the Great Orme in Llandudno to Caernarfon Airport.

North Wales Police

Police said on Thursday that the search had been temporarily suspended, but it would resume when the weather in the Irish Sea improves.

Inspector Dave Corcoran, who leads North Wales Police’s underwater search and marine unit, said: ”Over the last several days, our police underwater search team, working closely with the AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch), have been concentrating the search in an area near the last known radar sighting of the aircraft.”

The Bangor University research ship, the Prince Madog, also assisted the search last weekend. Professor Last was a former lecturer at the university, and a former president of The Royal Institute of Navigation.

He was described by his family as ”a much loved father, husband, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend.”

The disappearance sparked a major search and rescue operation involving the Coastguard, helicopter crews and three lifeboats, which was scaled back after two days.

Chief Inspector Essi Ahari added: ”We are very grateful for the support we have received from our colleagues in the police underwater search team, H.M. Coastguard, RNLI, the AAIB and the staff at Caernarfon Airport as part of this ongoing investigation.”

”We would like to thank the Prince Madog crew, P+O Maritime and the University of Wales Bangor for the significant assistance they have provided to this ongoing search operation.”

A police spokesperson said the coroner for North West Wales, Dewi Pritchard Jones, and Mr Last’s family, were being kept informed about the search operation.

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