Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - 1:46pm |
National News

Pilot killed in plane crash is named

1 min read

The pilot of a Cessna 152 aircraft which came down south west of Te Kuiti last night has been named as 28-year-old Ben Israel Gaastra from New Plymouth.

Mr Gaastra was flying solo from the North Shore to New Plymouth yesterday evening. Around 7.30pm a search operation was launched after the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) detected an emergency beacon.

Two Royal New Zealand Airforce Iroquois helicopters assisted in the search, as well as a private helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft.

The wreckage of the Cessna was found at 10am today by a ground search and rescue team lowered by an Airforce Iroquois helicopter, in rugged terrain 41km west-south-west of Te Kuiti. Mr Gaastra's body was found nearby at about 10.40am.