Fishing trawler finds plane wreck with body inside at sea

Plane found in sea off Great Barrier Reef

New Zealand Boat Catches Plane wreckage@AP

A fishing trawler in New Zealand hauled up a small plane with a body in the wreckage near Cape Barrier earlier today.

It is possible that the wreckage belongs to a man who went missing in his homemade bi-plane earlier this year.

According to The Australian, authorities suspect the plane wreckage is the 5.7 metre aerobatic biplane that was home-assembled from a kit and flown by Auckland pilot Daroish Kraidy, who disappeared in March.

Kraidy, 53, took off on 25 March from Ardmore airfield near Auckland. Minutes later, his plane disappeared from radar screens, leading authorities to conclude he either switched off the plane's transponder or was flying at a very low altitude.

An extensive aerial and sea search failed to find the plane or Mr Kraidy.

The small plane was found in the ocean by the Sanford fishing trawler San Kawhai, an 18.5 metre trawler, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The plane wreckage was hauled up in the trawler's nets.

Mike Richards of the Civil Aviation Authority said Mr Kraidy's plane was the only missing plane that he knew of in New Zealand.

"It's an unusual case to say the least," he added.

Although police have not yet confirmed the plane is her husband's, Mr Kraidy's wife Judy said news of the plane wreckage was a relief.

"We absolutely knew he was gone out to sea somewhere," she said.

"I always said if he was to be found it would be purely by accident, and that's exactly what happened - it's like a miracle. It's a very big ocean."

She added that it would be good to finally be able to recover his body and get "closure," after four months of mourning.

Trawler operators Sanford declined to comment on the discovery.

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