Body found after helicopter crash

OLIVIA WANNAN AND LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 17:04 16/12/2013
Bruce Andrews
Supplied
EXPERIENCED PILOT: William Bruce Andrews, known as Bruce, was killed in a crash in Fiordland.

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The pilot killed last night in a Fiordland helicopter crash has been named.

He was William Bruce Andrews, known as Bruce, aged 49. He was a Te Anau man and a pilot for Milford Helicopters.

He was the only person in the helicopter. A police search and rescue team has this morning recovered his body.

His death has now been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority and the coroner.

Earlier today Milford Helicopter owner Natalie Shanks confirmed it was the company's helicopter that crashed last night.

She said the pilot had been flying "on and off" for a number of years and was experienced.

Searchers found the wreckage 838 metres above sea level in fading light and low cloud last night but the pilot's body was not found.

New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre (NZRCC) search and rescue mission co-ordinator Keith Allen said the wrecked helicopter was found in steep terrain at 9.15pm in the Glade Burn close to the start of the Milford Track, near Lake Te Anau.

The Hughes 500 helicopter was declared missing after it failed to arrive at Dumpling Hut on the Milford Track at 5.30pm. It was on a cross-country flight from Greenstone Valley, Otago, to deliver supplies to the hut.

NZRCC spokeswoman Sarah Brazilsaid contact was last made with the pilot at 4.55pm.

When it was reported missing the helicopter company launched a search using another helicopter, which was joined by two other aircraft, she said.

The pilot was experienced and familiar with the area, the NZRCC said in a statement.

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- Fairfax Media

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