Wales

Anglesey missing plane: Underwater team in David Last search

David Last Image copyright Family photo
Image caption David Last's family described him as an "experienced pilot"

Officers from a specialist underwater search team are looking for a missing pilot after the plane he was flying disappeared off the Welsh coast.

Prof David Last, 79, has not been seen since the light aircraft he was flying from Caernarfon Airport to the Great Orme, Llandudno, disappeared on Monday.

An HM Coastguard search has been suspended but a specialist North Wales Police team is searching underwater off Puffin Island, Anglesey.

No passengers were onboard the plane.

John Pottle, director of the Royal Institute of Navigation, said: "Really, if I was to put it into one sentence, he was a globally respected and much loved educator and navigator.

"He really was such a lovely person to be around."

Image caption Coastguard volunteers have been searching the coast at Penmon

On Tuesday, Prof Last's family released a statement describing him as an "experienced pilot and a respected figure in the worldwide navigation community".

They added: "We are all heartbroken".

Prof Last, a consultant engineer and expert witness in radio navigation and communications systems, and a professor emeritus at Bangor University, joined the Royal Institute of Navigation in 1972.

Image copyright Brian Nicholas
Image caption David Last was flying this Cessna Skyhawk when he disappeared

What happened?

HM Coastguard received a call for assistance shortly before 12:50 GMT on Monday.

A spokesman said a search was launched after a report an aircraft had disappeared from radar contact, two miles north-east of Penmon, Anglesey.

Rescue teams from Llandudno, Bangor, Penmon, Moelfre and Cemaes, as well as the HM Coastguard aircraft searched the area, along with North Wales Police.

Bangor University's research ship Prince Madog also assisted.

The search resumed on Tuesday morning near Puffin Island, off Anglesey, but was called off on Tuesday afternoon due to poor weather and on Wednesday was "suspended pending new information".

Image caption The search has focused on an area around Puffin Island, off the east coast of Anglesey

More on this story