Mt Cook plane crash: second survivor airlifted out

26 August 2007, 11:35pm

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) can confirm the pilot of the light airplane which crashed in Mount Cook’s Gammock Range has been stabilised by medics and airlifted out by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The pilot is in a serious condition but is conscious and is being treated at Christchurch Hospital.Searchers earlier found the other survivor (now confirmed to be the passenger) at a hut in Folk Stream between Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki after he walked about 5km from the crash site in steep terrain to try and raise the alarm.  He is in a stable condition in Timaru hospital.

The airplane, a Robin R2120, was flying from Christchurch to Mount Cook when it was reported overdue at 4pm. It is owned by the North Shore Aero Club. The survivors are members of the club.

The plane’s emergency beacon was activated at around the same time that it was reported overdue. RCCNZ immediately launched a search.

RCCNZ Mission Controller, Dave Wilson, said the success of this rescue was a result of the combined efforts of aircraft and crew from the Helicopter Line, Mount Cook; Air Safari’s and particularly the Westpac Rescue Helicopter from Christchurch, whose crew managed to winch the pilot from the side of a mountain in very difficult conditions.

Editor’s Note:

RCCNZ is not able to offer any more updates on the medical status of the survivors.  Please refer to the respective hospitals for these.

The names of the survivors are not able to be released at this time.The contact person for North Shore Aero Club is Ian Couper on 09 478 6351.  Ian is the club president.

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