Police and Navy divers have tonight found the body of one of the two air crew missing from a freight plane which crashed off Kapiti Island a week ago.
Kapiti Police search spokesperson Sergeant Steve Kendrick says the body was found about 6.45pm tonight in the extensively damaged cockpit area of the Convair plane.
Police have advised the families of pilot Barry Cowley and co-pilot Phil Miller. A formal identification will not be possible until the body is recovered later tonight and taken to Wellington Hospital for a postmortem tomorrow.
"Weâ€™re recovering the body tonight and tomorrow will resume the search for the second body," Sergeant Kendrick says. "Weâ€™re hoping to find the second man in the wreckage, and if possible lift the body and the cockpit to the surface."
Sergeant Kendrick says search conditions improved a little today and those involved in the recovery operation are heartened by the latest development.
"Itâ€™s been an extremely difficult search in very testing conditions. Itâ€™s also been a harrowing time for the families and friends of both men so we hope we can find the second body tomorrow."