Pilot and passenger found dead in helicopter

Last updated 15:41 12/04/2014

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Two West Coast men have been found dead in the wreckage of a helicopter crashed in the Fish River near Haast.

The pilot was a 54-year-old man from Hokitika, and the passenger, was a 51-year-old man from the Bruce Bay area.

Both were believed to be helicopter enthusiasts.

The helicopter, flying from Wanaka to Haast, was reported overdue about 9pm last night. A search involving the NZCC Greymouth Rescue Helicopter  was called off at midnight.

Wanaka Police and Land SAR's river rescue team accessed the remote crash site around 1pm today after the wreck was spotted in a morning air search.

Both men were still in the helicopter when found.

The case has been referred to the coroner and the Civil Aviation Authority. The helicopter wreckage will be stored in Wanaka pending investigation. Police have not confirmed the identities of the two victims.

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- The Press


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