7 Dec 2011

Hovercraft death could have been avoided - coroner

3:23 pm on 7 December 2011

A coroner says the death of a man killed by a hovercraft he made could have been avoided.

Alastair Senior died in July this year when struck in the head by the machine's propeller at Muriwai Beach in Waimauku.

The 46-year-old engineer had built the craft to his own design and specifications.

During its first test run, the frame supporting the propeller fell forward and the propeller struck Mr Senior's head, killing him instantly.

In his findings, Coroner Paul Ryan cited a report by a marine engineer who said that the owner appeared in a rush to make the hovercraft functional, well before it was viable or safe to do so.

The report referred to the craft as being structurally on the light side and said structural failures were inevitable.