Cargo plane crashes in Sydney

A twin-engine cargo plane operated by Airtex Aviation has crashed into the sea to the south of Sydney Airport last night.

The Metroliner aircraft, which in passenger configuration carries 19 people, was on a regular mail run from Sydney to Brisbane. Departing from Sydney Airport at 11.30 pm, it made a series of turns contrary to air traffic control directions. When queried by air traffic controllers, the pilot reportedly said that he was "experiencing minor control problems". The plane disappeared from radar shortly afterwards.

An itensive search involving police, rescue and navy personnel located the wreckage of the aircraft off Jibbon Beach in the Royal National Park earlier today.The male pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, is still missing presumed dead.

Australia Post has confirmed the aircraft was carrying Express Post mail sent from the ACT and NSW to addresses in Queensland.

Photo: a Metroliner similar to the crashed aircraft.

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