MISSING PLANE: Debris is ‘wreckage from missing plane’

Coastguards preparing to go out in search of a missing plane and its pilot yesterday

Coastguards preparing to go out in search of a missing plane and its pilot yesterday

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Fuel and debris found floating in the Irish Sea is from the light aircraft that went missing off the coast of Blackpool, experts believe.

The wreckage has been sent for forensic analysis, while there has been no repeat of yesterday’s frantic off-shore search, which involved seven lifeboats, two search and rescue helicopters, an on-shore team of experts, and police divers.

Shoreline searches are now being carried out after more ‘objects’ were found washed up on the beach this morning, including by a member of the public, the Coastguard service said.

The single engine Rockwell Commander plane, being flown from the Isle of Man to Blackpool Airport, disappeared from radar three miles off-shore shortly after 9am yesterday.

It is thought to have crashed into the Irish Sea during poor weather conditions.

The pilot, a businessman thought to split his time between the Isle of Man and Scotland, is still missing.

He was the only person on board.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is now leading a multi-agency operation and has launched a probe.