Search for downed helicopter pilot
Search team recovers bodyLOUISE BERWICK AND FAIRFAX NZ
LATEST: The pilot who is missing in a Fiordland helicopter crash is Bruce Andrews.
Mr Andrews, 49, died after the Hughes 500 helicopter he was in crashed in steep terrain at Glade Burn, near the start of the Milford Track.
He was William Bruce Andrews (Bruce Andrews) and worked for Milford Helicopters, and was the sole occupant in the helicopter.
An Invercargill police search and rescue team landed at the crash scene this morning and recovered Mr Andrews' body.
Milford Helicopter owner Natalie Shanks said none of the company's pilots were assisting in the search today, she said.
The pilot had been flying "on and off" for a number of years and was experienced, she said.
She did not want to comment further out of respect for his family.
The Invercargill Police search and rescue team arrived in Te Anau this mornimg to start a recovery operation for the downed Hughes 500 helicopter.
The Police SAR crew will accompany a Southern Lakes Helicopter crew to the scene of the crash this morning.
Searchers found the wreckage 838 metres above sea level in fading light and low cloud last night but the pilot was not located.
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.
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, Brazil said.
The pilot was experienced and familiar with the area, the NZRCC said in a statement.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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