A small aircraft is believed to have gone missing shortly after take off from Christchurch Airport this evening. It disappeared from radar about 7.20pm. It is believed to have been carrying up to ten passengers.
Christchurch Police have closed roads leading off the north bound motorway, west of the motorway and south of Rangiora.
There are now in excess of 50 staff searching rural Canterbury including search and rescue. There are jet boats searching the Waimakariri River and a a fixed wing plane in the air.
It has now been confirmed that the missing plane was bound into Christchurch Airport.
Police have lifted the road closures leading into the main search area.
Inspector Derek ERASMUS asks property owners and up to 20km north of the airport and up to 5km either side of the regular flight path coming into land on the north/ south runway, to check their properties for any sign of the plane.