A twin-engine plane with one person on board has gone missing in poor weather over Tasmania’s rugged and mountainous Southwest National Park.
The aircraft was on a routine flight this morning to pick up passengers from Melaleuca settlement.
Two helicopters and a plane began searching the area after the alarm was raised at 9:00am.
Airlines of Tasmania managing director Shannon Wells said the aircraft is fitted with a satellite tracker.
“As result of this, we have a reasonably accurate position of where the aircraft could be found,” Mr Wells said.
“Unfortunately, we do not know the condition of the pilot or what has led to these circumstances, but we do have grave concerns for this pilot who has been with the company for three years and is very experienced and well qualified.”
The ABC understands the plane is owned by Par Avion, a Tasmanian charter flight company established in 1978.
“Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of the pilot, including all colleagues,” Mr Wells said.
Par Avion departs every day from Cambridge Airport, north-east of Hobart, to the Melaleuca area, about 115 kilometres south-west.
On its website, the company states “for an extra level of safety, we fly a twin-engine aircraft to Melaleuca, the only company in Tasmania to do so”.
“We head inland over The Arthur Range, arguably Tasmania’s most spectacular mountain range.”