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Missing passengers found in SA

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A light plane that went missing during a sightseeing flight over remote Lake Eyre in the South Australian outback has been found, with two men rescued.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the men appeared to be safe and well, with only minor injuries, and were being taken to Marree for medical checks.

The men were spotted before 9:30am about 30 kilometres north-northwest of Marree.

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“A passing airliner picked up a mayday call from the men on the ground,” said Dan Glover from the authority.

“Around the same time anyway, one of the fixed wing search and rescue aircraft was passing over and spotted the men.

“A search helicopter was then diverted, which was able to land and pick the men up.”

Mr Glover said engine failure caused the men to make a forced landing.

Their Tecnam Eaglet ultralight aircraft had failed to return home after leaving the airstrip at Marree, 670 kilometres north of Adelaide, about 5:30pm on Tuesday for a two-hour scenic flight.

Eight aircraft had been called in to join the search, which spanned a remote 5,000 square-kilometre region in the state’s north-east.

Rebecca Turner from the Marree Hotel alerted police after the plane failed to arrive on time at 7:30pm.

“We thought they might have been taking a little bit of extra time to look at the sunset, we had an amazing sunset last night,” she said.

“But when it was much closer to dark and they still hadn’t arrived, we got a bit concerned.”

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