Pilot dies in crash
A plane that crashed and killed its pilot hit trees and burst into flames, police say. The crash happened on private property on Springfield Rd, about 63 kilometres west of Christchurch, at 12.05pm today.
St John ambulance staff attended but the pilot, a Christchurch man in his 50s, was dead at the scene.
There were no other passengers on board. Police said the aircraft had been towing a glider and had taken off from the nearby Canterbury Gliding Club airfield.
The gilder cut away, and the aircraft turned, hit trees and burst into flames, police said. People at the airfield witnessed the crash, and called emergency services before rushing to the scene.
The plane was completely destroyed in fire, which was put out by fire crews. The glider returned to the airfield safely.
Police are contacting the man's relatives and his name has not been released.