20-year-old named as second pilot killed in crash

The two planes crashed on their approach to Hood Aerodrome. Photo: Supplied via NZME.
The two planes crashed on their approach to Hood Aerodrome. Photo: Supplied via NZME.

The two pilots killed in a light plane crash near Masterton on Sunday have been named by police.

Skydive Wellington pilot Joshua Christensen, 20, and Wairarapa Aero Club member Craig McBride, likely died on impact when their light aircraft collided at an altitude of around 90m near the Hood Aerodrome. Both were Masterton locals.

The skydiving plane was returning to Hood Aerodrome after dropping off four parachutists who successfully completed their jumps prior to the fatal crash. It has not been confirmed what direction the second plane was heading.

McBride was a much-loved teacher and figure in the Wairarapa cricket scene.

Skydive Wellington posted to Facebook yesterday, thanking the first responders and the aviation community for their response.

"The thoughts of the Skydive Wellington team go out to the families and friends of the pilots who were tragically killed on Sunday," the post said.

"At the moment we do not know what happened and it will be some time before we do.

"We are continuing to assist the authorities with the investigation. At this point we can't say anything further.

"We would like to thank the first responders and the wider aviation community for their support at this tragic time."

The company's offices are temporarily closed while they assist with the investigation.

Acting detective senior sergeant Haley Ryan said police were continuing to investigate on behalf of the Coroner, along with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

"We extend our sympathies to Mr Christensen's and Mr McBride's family and friends," Ryan said.

Taic's role will likely be to investigate what lessons can be learned from the crash, while the Civil Aviation Authority will look at whether all rules and regulations were followed.

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