THE salvage effort to recover a plane which crashed into the sea off Barlings Beach on Sunday continued on Tuesday.
On board were two Moruya Aero Club stalwarts, Ralph Buchanan and Graham White.
The pair left Moruya Airport at 11.10am on Sunday in Mr Buchanan’s Morgan Sierra 200.
Witnesses reported seeing a plane plunge into the ocean shortly after noon on Sunday about 1km offshore Barlings Beach.
Mr White’s body was recovered from the area on Sunday afternoon, while Mr Buchanan is yet to be found.
It is believed the flight was a standard annual assessment of Mr Buchanan’s flying skills.
Friend and fellow aviation enthusiast Alan Morton met the pair through their mutual interest in aviation.
He said Mr Buchanan, the former owner of an electrical goods retail shop in Batemans Bay, was an experienced pilot.
He said he was meticulous, particularly when it came to his planes.
He said Mr White was chief flying officer at Moruya for many years, before moving to Wagga Wagga about two years ago.
“He was a wonderful bloke, once again another fellow who was meticulous and professional in everything he did,” he said.
“He trained a lot of people. He taught me how to fly.
“Those guys are going to be sadly missed.
“It’s a big hole in the community down there.”