Search for lost plane ends in disappointment

A WEST Australian man has returned home empty-handed after his search for a plane lost somewhere in the Barrington Tops failed to bear fruit.

Quenten Jackson flew from his home in Greenbushes in south-western Western Australia last week to search for the lost plane VH-MDX, which disappeared without a trace in August 1981.

Mr Jackson first heard about VH-MDX while scouring the web soon after Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared last month.

Using Google Earth, Mr Jackson was convinced he had found the crash site of VH-MDX in a patch of bush off Nowendoc Rd near Cooplacurripa.

While searching Google Earth above an east-west line dissecting Gloucester, he came across an image of what appeared to be the wreck of a small aircraft lying on its back with the front section broken away.  

The coordinates of the crash site were 31°34’ 15.56 S and 151°50’ 24.39 E according to Google Earth.

Quenten said after much analysis of the image, including improving the resolution and consultation with others, he became convinced that what he had found was the aircraft.

He contacted Gloucester Police who travelled to the site last Sunday but failed to find any trace of the wreckage.

Unperturbed, and still convinced the plane was there, Mr Jackson purchased a plane ticket from Perth to Newcastle and then hired a car to drive the three hours from the airport to Cooplacurripa.

The Gloucester Advocate agreed to accompany Mr Jackson on his search and together we spent several hours scouring a section of bush looking for the wreckage without luck last Tuesday.

Mr Jackson, who returned to Western Australia last Wednesday, said he was “devastated” he had been unable to find the plane but remained convinced the images he had seen using Google Earth were the wreckage of a small aircraft.

Meantime, the mystery of VH-MDX and its five missing passengers remains unsolved.

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