New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre [RRCNZ] said Saturday the plane’s wreckage had been located near Mt. Elizabeth at a height of 13,000 feet. Recovery efforts since the crash have been hampered by bad weather but are now in the recovery phase, the centre said.
The plane “appears to have made a direct impact that was not survivable,” said the RRCNZ website.
A C-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard made visual contact with the downed plane on Friday, the first time since plane's emergency locator beacon was activated shortly after the crash, Kenn Borek Air Ltd.—the planes operator—said via their website.
The wreckage is located “on a very steep slope, close to the summit of Mt. Elizabeth at the northern end of the Queen Alexandra Range—halfway between the South Pole and McMurdo Station,” said a statement from RRCNZ.
The Twin Otter was flying from the South Pole to an Italian base in Terra Nova Bay with the three Canadians when it hit bad weather. The identities of those on-board were not released and the exact cause of the crash remains unknown.
The recovery effort is being led by the Unified Incident Command—a joint program between the U.S. and New Zealand—and is currently being planned.
“Weather conditions in the area are currently good, with light winds and scattered cloud.”
Officials said once the bodies of the missing men are recovered, they will be returned to New Zealand then repatriated to Canada.
Only the three Canadians were reported to have been on-board the plane when it crashed.