Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pilot killed in head-on crash - Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

A Masterton helicopter pilot has been killed in a head-on crash in Hawke's Bay. 

Brian Faulie Bowden, 39, was the front-seat passenger in a van that collided with a 4x4 utility vehicle just after 1pm on Friday near the intersection of SH50 and Whakapirau Rd, west of Hastings.

The driver of the van received serious injuries and was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital. He was discharged the same day.

The sole occupant of the other vehicle received minor injuries.

Police Senior Constable Tim Rowe said the van was travelling south on SH50 when it was in a collision with the utility, which was travelling north.

"They hit head-on at the intersection, but whether the intersection is a factor in the accident, we are not certain," Mr Rowe said.

A death notice for Mr Bowden said he was the loved fiancee of Shirlene, and father to three children and a step-daughter. He will be farewelled in Gisborne on Friday.

Alix Chittock, Pahiatua-based owner of Tararua Heliwork, said Mr Bowden had been a pilot with Wairarapa Helicopters.

Mr Chittock said Mr Bowden was a good pilot and "an absolutely straight-forward sort of guy", whom he had come to know through shared industry connections.

Mr Bowden had been "fairly busy with spreading" several weeks ago, Mr Chittock said, when the pair last met while working.

Additional reporting Hawke's Bay Today

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