Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Zenair CH 601 UL ZodiacZK-JFN: Accident occurred April 01, 2012 - near Fuller Road,South Head, Kaipara - New Zealand

 Investigators examined the scene of a microlight plane crash at Kaipara, northwest of Auckland. Two people were killed in the crash.

 Police have officially named the two elderly men killed in a plane crash north of Auckland on Sunday.

They were George Mitchell, 74, of Whangaparaoa and Brian Martin Whiteman, 73, of Waiuku.

The retired friends crashed their aircraft in a paddock at South Head on Kaipara Harbour around 1pm.

Police are assisting the Civil Aviation Authority with their investigation and have referred the deaths to the coroner.

Mitchell and Whiteman were on their way back from watching the Ohakea Air Show in Manawatu when they crashed.

On Monday CAA investigators completed their scene examination and removed some of the aircraft's parts for testing.

The components were transported to a secure storage in Auckland while the rest of the wreckage was released to insurers.

The CAA will analyze weather conditions, the aircraft's intended route and interview witnesses.

Their findings could be up to a year away.

The men each leave behind a wife, children and grandchildren.


 The bodies of two people killed in a microlight plane crash near Auckland are being removed from the crash site tonight. 

 The two-seater microlight crashed into a paddock at Fuller Road, South Head, Kaipara, about 90 kilometres northwest of Auckland.

Police said the plane - believed to have been en route from Ohakea to Dargaville - went missing after sending a distress call about 1pm.

Inspector Gary Davey said police planned to remove the bodies overnight, before bad weather set in. Rain began falling over the crash site just after 7pm.

Police were still working to notify the victims' families and the names would most likely be released tomorrow.

The crash was reported by the owner of the property who found the wreckage about an hour after the distress call was sent, police said.

A helicopter with a medic on board was sent to the scene, where both occupants of the plane were found dead.

The plane plummeted to the ground just a few hundred metres from the country road.

Police used emergency service vehicles to block the wreckage from view, but part of the white aircraft could be seen.

The cockpit of the plane appeared to be crushed, while the tail of the plane looked largely intact.

Smaller pieces of the plane were strewn across the paddock.

Police and crash investigators were at the scene today, with CAA safety investigators expected to arrive tomorrow morning.

Earlier reports of the plane being on fire were incorrect, the Fire Service told TVNZ.

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