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MH370: Hobbit Director Peter Jackson's Private Jet Aids Search

A private jet owned by “Lord of the Rings” and "The Hobbit" director Sir Peter Jackson is involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, New Zealand media reported Wednesday.

The Gulfstream G650 is being used as a communications relay for military aircraft searching for wreckage of the Boeing 777, officials at Australia’s Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre told Radio NZ and the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

The ultra-long-range business jet can travel up to 8,000 miles without refueling.

Image: Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson attends the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Dec. 2, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Matt Dravitzki, a spokesman for the director, told the New Zealand Herald that the aircraft had been chartered, without giving any details. He did not say whether there was any remuneration or if the aircraft had been offered by Jackson or requested by authorities.

"Peter would not seek publicity for something like this and would actively avoid it in fact," Dravitzki said.

Oscar-winning Jackson grew up near Wellington, New Zealand.

- Alastair Jamieson