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Missing NSW plane found crashed in forest

The wreckage of a small plane missing since Friday morning has been found in steep and heavily wooded forest near where it dropped off NSW radar.

But the condition of the two people on board remains unclear.

NSW Police are now attempting to reach the plane — about 27 kilometres inland from Coffs Harbour — after a helicopter crew located the plane about 6.30am on Saturday.

Rain and low clouds extending to the ground prevented the helicopter being able to winch a person to the site, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. AMSA, which led the search, said the ground-level NSW Police effort to reach the plan would take “some time” as weather conditions remained poor and the terrain was steep and heavily wooded.

The light plane departed Murwillumbah in northern NSW at 6.30am on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in Taree at 8am.

AMSA was alerted on Friday morning by the pilot’s associates concerned it hadn’t reached its destination.

In an interview with ABC, NSW Police said personnel were attempting to access the site from the ground, because the site was located in steep and heavily wooded terrain.

“The site’s located in quite rugged terrain … this is going to take quite some time,” said Sam Cardwell from AMSA.

Its last known communications were about 7.30am.

Poor conditions also hampered search efforts on Friday afternoon.


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