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We could continue to speculate what may have happened, but to shorten the process, there are three facts that come into play here:

 

1/An aircraft motor was heard NE of Ryton Bay,  Lake Coleridge.

2/ A plume of smoke was seen that appeared to be behind Mt Torlesse

3/ Ryan and Cessna 180 ZK-FMQ are still missing.

 

If we align these up with the scenario I have provided here, then we can find a highly probable area worthy of a search area by overlaying the “smoke seen direction” over the “West Melton track” probability, as seen here:

 

 

Using this area, this scenario, and going by what little evidence I have at this point of time, I would estimate that the area shown below needs a good thorough search, which of course includes the rivers and streams, and anywhere else an object could have moved down to over the course of time, below this area.

I realise that there is a lot of tramping parties tramp to the top of Mt Torlesse and some may have seen something and not realised the importance of it, but I don’t believe there will be much sign of anything anyway after 14 years. This is based on knowing that if there was a fire as attributed to the smoke, then all that may have escaped being melted down would be possibly wing tips and maybe the tail. ZK-FMQ also had an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) on board and as no 243/121.5 transmissions was heard that day, we can only assume that this was caused by one or more of the three faults that happen with these beacons.

1/ The aerial becomes detached in the prang.

2/ In a high speed impact, they shatter into pieces.

3/ In a fire they melt.

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