David Last Wiki
North Wales Police have now named the missing pilot as Professor David Last
The pilot of a missing plane that crashed into the sea was a Welsh university professor and a specialist in radio navigation and communications. A Cessna, hired from Caernarfon Airport, Wales had flown Monday to the Great Orme promontory in Llandudno and then returned, only to get lost in the sea near Puffin Island on the east coast of Anglesey. There was no May alert or radio message, and experts suggest that the pilot, flying alone, had become ill.
David Last Age
He is 79 years old.
David Last Family Statement
His family said in a statement: ‘Professor David Last was a consultant engineer and expert witness specializing in radio navigation and communications systems.
‘He was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Bangor, past-President of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a respected figure in the world-wide navigation community.
‘He was an experienced, instrument-rated pilot. Most importantly to us, he was head of the family, a much-loved father, husband, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend, and we are all heartbroken.’
He lived in Llanfairfechan, a seaside village a few miles from the crash scene.
Last night the aircraft was pictured parked up on the tarmac at Caernarfon Airport before it is believed to have crashed near Puffin Island on Monday.
Air Accident Investigation Branch
The Air Accident Investigation Branch has sent a team to the area and specially-trained police are helping the pilot’s family.
A Bangor university research vessel that can scour the sea bed and an aircraft with sonar equipment joined the search in rain and mist at times.
Coastguards searched miles of beaches for any sign of wreckage.
But due to poor weather, search activities were suspended yesterday.
Police confirmed that the small plane had just one person on board when it disappeared.
The plane set off from Caernarfon Airport some 25 minutes earlier to fly to the Great Orme in Llandudno and was on its way back when it lost contact.
According to data from flightradar24.com, a Cessna light aircraft making the same route at the time given by police and the Coastguard descended near the uninhabited Puffin Island before it disappeared.
Just before 10 pm, last night rescue boats returned to the station after spending under eight hours searching for the plane.
North Wales Police tweeted yesterday afternoon: ‘Multi-agency operation underway at sea off Anglesey coast following report of an incident involving light aircraft.’
The search was suspended around 10 pm on Monday. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: ‘The search will continue in the morning, we have no further information at this time.’
The Coastguard has confirmed that it is coordinating a search and rescue mission and its helicopter is out flying near Puffin Island as part of the efforts.
Police say they were called at 12.59 pm to reports of a possible crash. It is believed to involve a light aircraft that is most likely to be privately owned.
A spokesman yesterday said: ‘We received a call at 12.59 pm reporting a possible crash involving a light aircraft in the Penmon area.
‘Officers are currently assisting HM Coastguard and our inquiries are ongoing.’