28 Apr 2011

Bodies recovered from crash site

5:40 pm on 28 April 2011

Searchers have recovered the bodies of two men who died in a helicopter crash near Mount Aspiring.

The Robinson 22 aircraft from Wanaka Helicopters failed to return from a training flight from Wanaka to Hasst on Wednesday afternoon.

Police have named the two people on board as instructor Graham Alan Stott, aged 31, of Wanaka, and 21-year-old trainee pilot Marcus Hoogvliet from Frankton in Queenstown.

The helicopter came down at the head of the Matukituki River about 50 kilometres north-west of Wanaka.

The missing aircraft was found by helicopters equipped with night vision equipment after they picked up an emergency locator beacon on Wednesday night.

A spokesperson for the Rescue Coordination Centre, Ross Henderson, says the helicopter was well equipped with emergency gear, which had helped the search team locate it.