CAA to investigate crash

Civil Aviation Authority investigators are heading to the scene of a microlight crash which killed two people last night.

The microlight crashed on farmland, 11km north of Timaru, around 7.30pm last night and the two people on board were found dead at the scene, police said.

CAA spokesman Mike Richards said two safety investigators were scheduled to leave Wellington late this morning and were due to arrive at the crash site mid-afternoon.

On arrival they will receive a briefing from police who remain in control of the scene until CAA takes over, Mr Richards said.

"The investigators will concentrate first on gathering as much information as they can from any eye-witnesses and then proceed to form a picture of the environmental conditions at the time of the accident.

"Depending on what they find, the investigation could take many months to complete as it is quite common to require mechanical and electronic parts to be sent to manufactures testing centres.

"If any significant mechanical issues are identified as possible cause of the accident the CAA will issue immediate advice to the aviation community to help prevent a repeat of this unfortunate accident.

"However it is far too early to speculate on what has happened here," Mr Richards said.

Seadown Rd resident Mark Phillips last night said the plane had landed on his farm, and emergency services had covered up the scene.

"It happened about three of four paddocks back from the house.

"[The wreck] has been covered over and there are a few cones with a tarpaulin on the outside."

A St John spokesman said ambulance crews attended but were not required.

A fire crew from Washdyke also attended the incident.

No details of either of the deceased would be released until next of kin are fully informed, a police spokeswoman said.

The deaths have been referred to the coroner.

By Brendan Manning of NZME 


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