News State Tasmania Wreckage spotted: Searchers hold little hope charter pilot survived impact in Tasmanian ilderness
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Wreckage spotted: Searchers hold little hope charter pilot survived impact in Tasmanian ilderness

A twin-engine plane operated by air-tourist outfit Par Avion over the treacherous grandeur of southern Tasmania. Photo: Par Avion
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The pilot of a twin-engine plane that went missing in remote southwest Tasmania is feared dead after the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted in rugged terrain.

The wreckage was spotted from a rescue helicopter at West Portal, near the Western Arthur Ranges, shortly after 7pm on Saturday, Tasmania Police said.

Search and rescue police on board the Westpac Rescue helicopter surveyed the wreckage from the air and determined there was no chance the solo pilot could have survived the crash.

It was considered too dangerous to winch them down to the site, and an investigation team is due to be airlifted there on Sunday.

Inspector Dave Wiss said the terrain was steep and dangerous.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time,” he said in a statement late on Saturday.

“We remain in contact and we will continue to provide them with the information we currently know to assist them in coming to terms with this terrible accident.”

The search patterns of aircraft hunting for the missing plane.

The Airlines of Tasmania aircraft went missing near the Arthur Ranges around 8.30am on Saturday.

It was on a routine flight to pick up passengers from Melaleuca.

Earlier, Airlines of Tasmania managing director Shannon Wells had said there were grave concerns for the pilot, who had been with the company for three years and was “very experienced and well qualified”.

– AAP