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Update – search for helicopter + statement

By   /  July 22, 2018  /  Comments Off on Update – search for helicopter + statement

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Source: New Zealand Police

Source: New Zealand Police

Please attribute to Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw

A Police-led search is continuing around Lake Wanaka for a helicopter and pilot reported overdue yesterday lunchtime.

Police can confirm that the pilot is 39-year-old Matthew Timothy Wallis, the only person onboard.

Police are liaising with the family and keeping them updated on the progress of the search.

Many local people are involved in the operation, including LandSAR and Coastguard volunteers.

We would like to thank the community for their offers of support particularly those with boats and aircraft.

We know Matthew is well-known in the area and many people are concerned for him.

The Police National Dive Squad will make an assessment of some of the search area this afternoon.

ENDS

The photograph attached has been released by the family of Matthew Wallis.

The following is a statement issued on behalf of Alpine Helicopters:

At 12.54pm on Saturday, July 21 a helicopter left its base with one person onboard on a private flight from Wanaka Airport to Mount Aspiring National Park. The flight was expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

At 1.08pm the helicopter was unable to be reached by radio. Its last satellite position report was 1.03pm. At 1.16pm the aircraft was deemed overdue and at 1.19pm two aircraft were sent to search for the missing helicopter and pilot.

Items specific to that aircraft were located in Stevenson’s Arm Lake Wanaka. The aircraft and pilot, Matthew Wallis, are now considered missing.

We would ask for respect for an ongoing search operation and will update in due course.

ENDS

Police Media Centre
 

MIL OSI

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