Wreckage is that of missing plane
Air accident investigators have confirmed that plane wreckage found on a mountainside in the Irish republic is that of a missing light aircraft.
The Piper PA-28 single engine plane took off from Gloucester on Saturday morning but failed to land at Kilrush in County Kildare at noon.
Airport officials said the four people on board were all from Gloucestershire.
Gardai, the Irish Coastguard and Irish Aviation Authority, said wreckage had been found near Corriebrock mountain.
The plane left Gloucestershire Airport at about 1000 BST on Saturday.
But the last radar sighting was at 1230 BST over the Wicklow mountains, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said.
Dublin air traffic control had monitored the flight before passing it over to Kilrush air traffic control a little over ten minutes before the last sighting.
But it was not until 1800 BST that a relative of the pilot raised concerns about the plane's whereabouts.
It is understood three of those on board were family members, while the fourth was a friend.
Gardai, the Coastguard, Defence Forces, and mountain rescue personnel from Dublin, Wicklow, Tipperary and Northern Ireland began a major search of the rugged terrain at about 0630 GMT on Sunday.
Superintendent Michael Lernihan, co-ordinating the search, said weather conditions were mixed.
It is understood up to 40 mountain rescue personnel were involved in the search, along with about 15 gardai from the north Wicklow town of Bray.
The Garda Helicopter and Dublin-based Coastguard helicopter were also called in.
The discovery of the wreckage was made by mountain rescue personnel, who it is understood, were acting on information provided by a hill-walker.
A statement from Glen of Imaal mountain rescue group said: "A hasty search party from [the team] have this morning located the light aircraft missing since yesterday afternoon.
"The Glen team members are currently on scene with members of the gardai, the Coastguard and Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team."
According to the operator of Kilrush airfield, Ian Valentine, the pilot had been using the strip for the last six or seven years to visit relatives in the near-by town of Newbridge.
He said he received a text message from the pilot - whom he described as experienced and in his mid-40s - earlier in the week but he would normally expect a phone call on the day of the flight.
The Irish Republic's Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) confirmed the wreckage was that of the missing aircraft.
The plane's nose is buried in a peat bog.
Chief Inspector of Air Accidents Jurgen Whyte said: "We have two teams responding.
"One has already responded by air on an Air Corps helicopter from Baldonnel. They are on site at the moment. We have another team arriving by road with equipment."