Photo courtesy of MAF
Australia (MNN) ― A Mission Aviation Fellowship plane failed to return to its base on Thursday, October 16. A plane wheel and some cargo have been found, but the pilot and the rest of the plane remain missing.
23-year-old Hadleigh Smith was flying the GA8 aircraft to several Australian Aboriginal communities and was scheduled to return back to Elcho Island that day. It is unlikely that Hadleigh reached his original destination, and debris has been found on the shoreline at Buckingham Bay.
Due to this small amount of evidence, it is hard to say how the plane went down. Since no mayday call was received, it seems as though the crash was either a result of a sudden malfunction in the plane or a medical emergency.
The search for Hadleigh has been joined by Australia Search and Rescue, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, as well as several MAF search crews. The search has been ongoing since Thursday October 16, and boats and helicopters continue to scour the estimated site of the accident. Unfortunately, high tides and strong currents have made the water search difficult. As of Tuesday October 21, no more debris had been located.
Hadleigh's family is realizing more each day that there is little chance of him returning to them. Please pray for them as the impact of this increases.
Pray for God's transcending peace to envelope Hadleigh's family and co-workers. Pray also that the waters would calm and that God's hand would guide rescuers. MAF asks above all that we "praise God for His sovereignty in all things."
For updates on the situation, visit www.maf.org.au.