Rare Biplane With Six On Board Missing
Helicopters searched across rugged terrain in northwest Brisbane, Australia, for a 1934 de Havilland Dragon DH-84 biplane that went missing Monday afternoon (local time) with six people on board. The pilot was headed home after a weekend airshow when a distress call was received about 2:15 p.m., and an emergency locator signal was heard about 45 minutes later. The pilot reportedly was "struggling in thick cloud," according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Network. Low-lying clouds in the hilly and forested area hampered search efforts. Officials said an aircraft equipped with infrared technology would search overnight, and further air and ground efforts would ramp up in the morning.
Desmond Porter, 68, the pilot and owner of the aircraft, was giving scenic flights at the airshow to raise money for charity, according to The Australian. Porter's partner and two elderly couples were believed to be on board. Porter had survived the crash of a Dragon in 1954 that killed his father and 13-year-old brother. The missing de Havilland, which was rebuilt about eight years ago, is believed to be one of only four in the world.