Friday, December 07, 2012

Plane crash victim was a Rotorua man

 The pilot killed in a plane crash near Rotorua was a Rotorua man.  

 A police northern communications spokesman told The Daily Post the crash happened off Earthquake Flats Rd in Waikite Valley, south of Rotorua. They were alerted to the crash at 1.24pm.

Earthquake Flats Rd is a no exit dirt road, off Corbett Rd and near the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

The Daily Post was unable to get near the crash site and was turned away by police, who were looking after the site until  Civil Aviation Authority staff arrived tomorrow.

Contact Manager Corporate Communications, Mike Richards said Civil Aviation inspectors would arrive at the scene tomorrow.

He said the plane was a Fletcher 24 Turbine Engine kerosene, which was quite a powerful plane and the kind commonly used in agricultural applications. He said the pilot was a Rotorua man aged about 27.

Mr Richards said the pilot was  "only a short time in the air'' before the plane "collided with terrain''.

He said there was one witness.

"We're trying to talk to them tomorrow."

"Our inspectors will look at the wreckage.''

Mr Richards said it was too early to say how long inspectors would be investigating the scene.

"[They could] photograph and video everything in great detail.''

The long driveway to the site was marked with two orange cones at the start of it on Earthquake Flats Rd. There was a sign near the driveway which signaled an air strip.

Two fire appliances also attended the crash scene. However, a fire service spokesman told The Daily Post they were only there on stand-by because of fuel leakage.

The pilot of a topdressing plane was killed after the plane crashed in the Waikite Valley, south of Rotorua, on Saturday.

Emergency services were alerted to the accident about 1.30pm on Saturday in the Waikite Valley, about 30km south of Rotorua.

St John Ambulance team manager James Ihimaera says upon arrival they found one deceased person with the plane, believed to be a topdressing plane.

Police and fire crews were in attendance.


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