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Two survive Mt Cook light plane crash

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Two survive Mt Cook light plane crash


Monday Aug 27 07:36 AEST


Searchers in New Zealand have found two men alive after the light plane they were in crashed near the country's highest peak, the country's rescue coordination centre says.


Centre mission controller Dave Wilson said a helicopter search team located the airplane and managed to winch the pilot from the side of a mountain on South Island "in very difficult conditions".


A rescue helicopter equipped with night vision equipment was deployed to the wreckage area near Mount Cook with medics on board, he said, and searchers found the pilot alive.


The crash site was "on a side of a reasonably steep mountain ... deep in the Southern Alps," but weather conditions were good, Wilson said.


var JS_SITE;var JS_SECTION;var JS_SUB_SECTION;var JS_AD_MEM_TAG;var JS_PAGE_COBRAND;function GetCobrandAdStr__633238013112339865() { if (JS_PAGE_COBRAND != undefined && JS_PAGE_COBRAND != '') { return '/COBRAND='+JS_PAGE_COBRAND; } else { return ''; }}spac_writeAd('/SITE='+JS_SITE+'/AREA='+JS_SECTION+'/SUBSECTION='+JS_SUB_SECTION+'/LOC=TOP/AAMSZ=MEDIUM'+JS_AD_MEM_TAG+GetCobrandAdStr__633238013112339865());The other survivor was discovered by a helicopter crew at a mountain hut between lakes Tekapo and Pukaki after he had walked five kilometres to seek assistance.


Both men were flown to hospital, where one is stable and the other is reported in serious condition but conscious.


The search was launched after an emergency locator beacon was activated on Sunday afternoon. The single-engine light plane was reported overdue a short time later.


Both men were members of the North Shore Aero Club and the plane was one of a group of seven aircraft on the club's annual flying trip to South Island.


Club president Ian Couper said club pilots were trained to cope in an emergency.


"I know one of the pilots in the aircraft was one of the senior club instructors, very experienced, and of course part of the training is to cope with these emergencies," he said.


Sunday's crash was the first in the club's history, Couper said.


Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak at 3,424m is 702km south of the capital, Wellington.



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