Te Anau Police have named the pilot who died when a
Hughes 500 helicopter crashed in steep terrain near the start
of the Milford Track.
He was William Bruce Andrews (known as Bruce), aged 49.
Mr Andrews was from the Te Anau area and a pilot for Milford
Helicopters. He was the sole occupant of the helicopter.
An Invercargill Police search and rescue team landed at the
crash scene this morning and recovered Mr Andrews' body.
The Hughes 500 helicopter was flying between the Greenstone
Valley and Dumpling Hut when it went down at Glade Burn, near
the Lake Te Anau starting point of the track.
The aircraft was last heard from in radio communication
between the experienced pilot and his base at 4.55pm
yesterday. It is feared he did not survive the crash.
Three helicopters, apparently one from the same company and
two from other helicopter firms, began searching after the
helicopter failed to arrive at Dumpling Hut as expected about
The missing helicopter was later located in ''very steep''
and rugged terrain, about 840m above sea level, near the Te
Anau entry to the Milford Track, Sarah Brazil, of the
Wellington-based Rescue Co-ordination Centre of New Zealand,
The crashed machine was located at 9.15pm yesterday, with
only about 15 minutes of natural light left.
Although the weather was cloudy, with drizzle falling,
''conditions were OK'' and searching helicopters had been
able to fly over mountain passes to access the area, she
After the crashed helicopter was located, a searcher was
winched into the area but was unable to locate the pilot last