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Search for pilot after reports of plane crash off North Wales coast

HM Coastguard is co-ordinating a search in the Puffin Island area near Anglesey after the light aircraft disappeared from radar on Monday afternoon.

A Coastguard helicopter off the North Wales coast near Anglesey (NWP Anglesey/Facebook/PA)
A Coastguard helicopter off the North Wales coast near Anglesey (NWP Anglesey/Facebook/PA)

By Adam Hale, PA Wales Correspondent

The search for a missing pilot will continue on Tuesday after reports an aircraft crashed off the North Wales coast.

Police have confirmed the small plane had just one person on board when it disappeared from radar in the area of Puffin Island near Anglesey at around 12.47pm on Monday.

The plane set off from Caernarfon Airport some 25 minutes earlier to fly to the Great Orme in Llandudno and was on its way back when it lost contact.

According to data from flightradar24.com, a Cessna light aircraft making the same route at the time given by police and the Coastguard descended near the uninhabited Puffin Island before it disappeared.

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Emergency services near Anglesey after reports of an aircraft crash (NWP Anglesey/Facebook/PA)

The search was suspended around 10pm on Monday. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency  added: “The search will continue in the morning, we have no further information at this time.”

On Monday evening, North Wales Police said they were involved in the Coastguard-led operation, while officers were supporting the unnamed missing pilot’s family.

Chief Inspector Essi Ahari said: “North Wales Police are supporting HM Coastguard in a search for a light aircraft that was flying from Caernarfon Airport to the Great Orme in Llandudno and back this afternoon.

“The aircraft had one pilot on board and no other passengers, and family liaison officers are supporting the missing pilot’s family.”

The force said in an earlier statement it had received a phone call at 12.59pm reporting a “possible crash” involving a light aircraft.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said it was co-ordinating a search and rescue in the Puffin Island area of North Wales following a report at 12.47pm on Monday that an aircraft had disappeared from radar contact.

The search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon had been sent as well as Coastguard rescue teams from Penmon and Bangor and a senior Coastguard operations officer, he said.

The RNLI lifeboats from Beaumaris, Moelfre and Llandudno and North Wales Police were also sent.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in a statement: “The AAIB has sent a team to investigate an accident involving a light aircraft that occurred near Beaumaris, Gwynedd, Wales.”

PA

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