MISSING PLANE: Shoreline searched as more details emerge

Emergency service patrol the beach at the end of Blackpool Airport runway after a light aircraft want missing off the Fylde Coast from the Isle of Man

Emergency service patrol the beach at the end of Blackpool Airport runway after a light aircraft want missing off the Fylde Coast from the Isle of Man

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Searches are being carried out along the Fylde coastline in the hunt for a plane that went missing yesterday.

The single engine prop plane - now confirmed as a Rockwell Commander - is believed to have crashed into the Irish Sea three miles off the coast of Blackpool.

A Rockwell Commander, similar to the one missing feared crashed off the coast of Blackpool

A Rockwell Commander, similar to the one missing feared crashed off the coast of Blackpool

It was on its approach to Blackpool Airport from the Isle of Man when it vanished from radar shortly after 9am.

The pilot, understood to be a businessman who divides his time between the Isle of Man and Scotland, is still missing.

Duty controller at the UK Coastguard, Matthew West, said: “Shoreline searches have started this morning and we are now looking at handing over to the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Lancashire Police.”

AAIB spokeswoman Sameena Rizwi said: “I can confirm the AAIB has commenced an investigation.”

RNLI crews from Blackpool, St Annes, Fleetwood, and Southport, spent up to nine hours scouring a 45 square mile area of water, aided by search and rescue helicopters, on-shore experts from the Coastguard, and police divers.

Their search ended at nightfall, shortly after fuel and debris was found. It was last night being examined.