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Search Underway For Missing Helicopter Which 'Faded From Radar'

A desperate search is underway in 'deteriorating conditions' for a missing aircraft, carrying a group of people after it disappeared around the NSW Hunter Region on Friday evening.

Police have told 10 daily that the aircraft, believed to be a helicopter, "faded from the radar" at around 6:30pm.

A search operation is currently underway around the vicinity of Anna Bay, police said, but authorities have been forced to downgrade their search efforts overnight due to timing and weather concerns.

A search vessel will continue to look for the aircraft, which is believed to have gone down around Stockton Beach, with search efforts expected to be ramped up again in the morning.

Earlier, Marine Rescue NSW said volunteer crews were responding to a helicopter ditching off north Stockton Beach and said debris had been spotted north of Newcastle.

It is not yet confirmed whether the debris was from the missing aircraft.

Police from Port Stephens are being assisted by marine area command and aerial support, 10 daily has been told.

It is understood a group is onboard the aircraft, but it is still unclear exactly how many people are inside.

More to come. 

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au