Tim with his ill fated gyrocopter
Tim with his ill fated gyrocopter

BREAKING: Tributes flow for Yeppoon pilot found in wreckage

UPDATE 12.57pm: TRIBUTES have started to flow for victim of the gyrocopter crash, Tim Pettitt.

The Farnborough man was travelling from Bundaberg to his home on Howes Rd when the aircraft crashed just north of Baffle Creek on Wednesday.

Mourners have taken to social media to share their condolences after loss of the 78-year-old.

"At least he died doing what he loved," Monika Shaw said.

"Very sad. Condolences to family & friends," Kelly Murray said.

Livingstone Shire Council mayor Bill Ludwig said "this is a terrible tragedy.  Our thoughts  and prayers go out to his wife and family."

A search helicopter spotted the wreckage early this morning in bushland near Baffle Creek, shortly after the search resumed with first light.

An operation was now underway to retrieve the man's body.

UPDATE 9.45am:

THE search for a gyrocopter reported missing on a flight between Bundaberg and Yeppoon has ended tragically with the wreckage of the missing aircraft found a short time ago.

Sadly, the pilot was found deceased at the scene. His family has been informed. An operation is now underway to retrieve the man's body.

A search helicopter spotted the wreckage early this morning in bushland near Baffle Creek, shortly after the search resumed with first light.

The search focused on this area of bushland based on a gyrocopter sighting reported to AMSA yesterday by a 14-year-old boy from the Baffle Creek area.

AMSA Response Centre Manager Alan Lloyd would like to acknowledge the young man from Baffle Creek and the many members of public who responded to AMSA's call for assistance in gathering information.

"The information provided by this young man was exactly what our officers needed to narrow the search and find the missing aircraft. He showed great initiative and responsibility in reporting what he saw to AMSA," Mr Lloyd said.

AMSA wishes to extend its sympathies to the family and friends of the pilot and thank all those involved in the search operation.

UPDATE 7.30am: SEARCH has resumed across the Central Queensland coastline this morning for a Yeppoon man who was travelling in a gyrocopter that didn't arrive at its destination.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority are coordinating the search for the gyrocopter which was noticed to be missing after it didn't arrive at its Yeppoon destination on Wednesday

The pilot has not been seen since they took off from Booyan Airstrip, 22 kilometres north of Bundaberg, at 1.45pm Wednesday on a trip to Farnborough, which would normally take two hours.

Search operations have been resumed at first light this morning after a long night of searching.

The search began Wednesday night with two night-vision equipped helicopters. Yesterday, nine helicopters searched the area, plus one of AMSA's Challenger search and rescue jet.

 

Rescue 300 has refuelled and resumed the search for a missing Gyrocopter and its pilot. This search will see Rescue 300 searching the Eastern side of the Island.
Rescue 300 has refuelled and resumed the search for a missing Gyrocopter and its pilot. This search will see Rescue 300 searching the Eastern side of the Island. RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue

Queensland Police Service and emergency services have been supporting the search.

The search is still covering the area from Bundaberg to Yeppoon, but with particular focus on an area just south of Baffle Creek.

 

The search area in Central Queensland where helicopters are looking.
The search area in Central Queensland where helicopters are looking. CONTRIBUTED

This is based on an unconfirmed but credible sighting reported to AMSA by a member of the public this afternoon.

This morning the Challenger jet and ten helicopters will search the area. Queensland Police will conduct a ground search of the area south of Baffle Creek.

The gyrocopter would have likely been flying low and could have travelled over the towns of 1770, Agnes Water, Tannum Sands, Gladstone, Emu Park and Yeppoon.

AMSA is requesting that anyone who thinks they may have seen or heard a gyrocopter in the area between Bundaberg and Yeppoon between the hours of 1pm and 6pm yesterday to call the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre on 1800 815 257 with any information.

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue has searched along the Central Queensland coast overnight for a missing gyrocopter.
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue has searched along the Central Queensland coast overnight for a missing gyrocopter. RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue


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