CRASH HERO: Boy provides vital information for search
BUNDABERG Police have detailed the "heroic" actions of a 14-year-old boy whose vital information helped find a crashed gyrocopter in the Yandaran area today.
Acting Inspector Michael Bishop said the local Baffle Creek boy was home sick from school when he first saw the gyrocopter at 2pm on Wednesday, shortly after it took off from an airstrip in Booyan.
"He went outside and saw the gyrocopter and heard what he thought was something wrong with its flight," Act Insp Bishop said.
"He heard what he described as it sounding like it wasn't working properly.
"He made an audio recording of it and phoned the police."
Act Insp Bishop said from there, search and rescue crews were able to find the crash site and, tragically, the body of 77-year-old pilot.
"About 8.10am this morning an aerial asset sighted what we believed to be a wreckage." he said.
"Subsequent searches located the gyrocopter and, sadly, the pilot at the scene."
Act Insp Bishop said the Baffle Creek teen's information played a vital role in the search mission.
"Without his assistance, the search could have taken a lot longer," he said.
The crash site was near to where the pilot first took off in Bundaberg, Booyan Airstrip, and was 2km south-east of the intersection of South Littabella and Cyrils Rds, Yandaran.
"This stage the cause is still under investigation," Act Insp Bishop said.
"Engine failure is certainly a possibility.
"The gyrocopter was extensively damaged when found."
Act Insp Bishop said the pilot, from Farnborough near Yeppoon, had extensive experience flying.
"He was flying back to his home," he said.
Police, 35 SES volunteers and 14 aircraft were deployed between Bundaberg and Yeppoon during the search and rescue mission.
Investigations are continuing.