SES volunteers searching for missing pilot.
SES volunteers searching for missing pilot. Scott Davis

Searcher on horseback finds body of pilot near M'bah

THE body of a pilot missing since Tuesday and the wreck of his ultralight aircraft has been found this morning.

Police said a searcher on horseback located the wreckage at 9am on Thursday on a private property on Boormans Rd, Limpinwood, about 25km west of Murwillumbah.

The pilot - believed to be a 72-year-old man, reported as Ian Sinnott - died at the scene, police said.

An operation is now underway to retrieve the man's body and his family has been informed.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in Canberra has been co-ordinating the search after a member of the public reported an aircraft in difficulties near Limpinwood, about 10.45am on Tuesday.

Police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command confirmed a 72-year-old man had been piloting an ultralight aircraft, which had taken off from Murwillumbah Airport about 45 minutes earlier.

"The search and rescue operations have been conducted in the surrounding area since then, involving up to eight helicopters, including the NSW Police airwing PolAir, police on trail bikes, as well as SES volunteers on foot and searchers on horseback,” police said in a statement.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been informed by AMSA and investigations will be conducted to determine the cause of the crash, with police working with the relevant air safety authorities.

AMSA and NSW Police wish to thank all those involved in this difficult search operation and extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the pilot.



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