A fishing boat in New Zealand caught a 19-foot acrobatic biplane in its nets from the ocean near Cape Barrier off the coast of the Great Barrier Island on 7 August. The plane is suspected to be the one flown by missing Auckland pilot Daroish Kraidy whose remains is also supposed to be lodged inside the wreckage.
The crew of the San Kawhai was trawling for fish when they brought up the wreckage in the boat's nets around 10.00 am, said Trish Sherson, a spokeswoman for Sanford.
The fishing boat reported the discovery to New Zealand police and the wreckage was later hoisted aboard a police boat, which late on Thursday was headed back to Auckland.
Mike Richards, the spokesman of New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, said the small plane could be of Kraidy since it was the only reported missing plane in the country. He described Kraidy's Acro Sport plane as relatively lightweight since it is made from light materials, like wood and aluminium with fabric for wings, Times of Malta reported.
Kraidy, 53, has previously participated in the World Precision Flying Championships. He took off his plane on 25 March from Ardmore airfield near Auckland and minutes later, his plane disappeared from radar screens. He was either flying at a very low altitute or he switched off the plane's transponder, the authoritoes had concluded. An extensive aerial and sea search, which was called off on 1 April, failed to find the aircraft and on May 1 a wake was held for Kraidy in Auckland.
In May, Kraidy's estranged wife Judy told Fairfax Media that her husband had been battling depression for years and that she believed his disappearance was deliberate. She even noted likeness between his disappearance and that of the Malaysian flight that had 239 passengers on board, saying Kraidy's plane went down 17 days after MH370.
"He was a very precise, clinical, clean person; everything had to be down to perfection. He's either going to crash on land or into water. If he crashes on land the plane would explode . . . if he goes out to sea, he disappears, it's clean, no-one has to clean up the mess," Tony Wall of Stuff quoted Judy in his report about the similarities between the missing of Kraidy's plane and MH370.
Judy, told police she was relieved to hear that the plane and her husband were found. "I'm in shock with relief," she told Fairfax Media. "I always said that if he was ever found it would be by accident."
The initials DJK on the tail of the recovered plane, which was "scratch-built to perfection" by her husband, stood for "Daroish and Judy Kraidy", she told The New Zealand Herald.
The 61-foot San Kawhai is one of fishing company Sanford's smaller vessels and is typically used to catch tarakiki, orange roughy and other fish that live near the coast. Typically, trawl nets are dragged in a wide arc along the ocean floor to ensnare fish and buoyancy allowed it to lift the comparatively heavier plane from water.