The pilot of a crashed ultralight plane that was missing on New South Wales’ Far North Coast has died.
A searcher on horseback found the crashed plane on a private property at Limpinwood, about 25 kilometres west of Murwillumbah, at 9:00am on Thursday.
The pilot — believed to be a 72-year-old man — died at the scene.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) had been coordinating the search since the aircraft was seen having difficulties on Tuesday.
Police confirmed a 72-year-old man had taken off from Murwillumbah Airport in an ultralight plane about 45 minutes before trouble was reported.
A friend of the man said he had “been flying for at least 32 years” and was “a great aviator”.
The search and rescue operation involved up to eight helicopters, police on trail bikes and volunteers on foot and horseback.
“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,” a NSW Police statement read.
The plane’s green paint job made finding it among the trees more difficult than usual, according to Dan Glover from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Mr Glover also said terrain in the search area was “quite rugged”.
An operation is now underway to retrieve the man’s body and an investigation will be conducted into the cause of the crash.