Search efforts are still ongoing for a sightseeing aeroplane reported missing shortly after noon yesterday. Its last known location was near Þingvellir National Park in Southwest Iceland, but its planned route was unknown. The plane contained an Icelandic pilot on a sightseeing flight with three passengers.
The plane left Reykjavík airport at 10:30 AM yesterday for a two-hour trip but never returned. The Icelandic Coast Guard received no distress call from the aircraft. Authorities contacted all airports in the country to determine whether the plane had landed elsewhere, to no avail. Hundreds too part in search efforts for the missing four last night. Early this morning, search-and-rescue volunteers, police, and the Icelandic coast guard resumed one of the most extensive search campaigns in recent years. The search was ongoing until 2:00 AM, with more than 200 people and two helicopters from the Icelandic Coast Guard. All the country’s airports have been contacted.
Hundreds take part in search
Auðunn Kristinsson with the Icelandic Coast Guard told RÚV that they sent out a call to search-and-rescue team members from all across the country, hoping that around 500 people would join the search today. “Most squads were called back at around 3:00–4:00 AM this morning, and we’re starting again at around eight. People are gathering to the southwest corner.”
Authorities received new information this morning from foreign mobile service providers and have called out divers to assist in the search. They’ve been focusing on the area south of lake Þingvallavatn but will extend their efforts to the north and east today. Weather conditions are favourable, and they will be searching on land, from the air, and in the water. “The helicopters will be up at ten and eleven, and private parties will also be assisting with the search.”
Photographer Chris Burkard shared a statement from the pilot’s family on social media this morning.
“Earlier this morning I was informed that my good friend Haraldur has gone missing. His family has asked that I make this following statement on their behalf. They are overwhelmed and grateful for the support – due to the volume and intensity of everything going on they can not update everyone and wanted me to share the latest. Over 500 people are looking for him from the incredible Iceland Search and Rescue as well as the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Icelandic Air Force – numerous pilots from Organisations and friends are also searching. This is a testament not only to the strength of the people of Iceland but to how well loved Haraldur is. The family wants everyone to know that they have not given up hope – and you should not either. When there is news, it will be shared.”