The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating after the pilot of a glider that went missing near the Mackenzie Basin in South Canterbury was found dead in the wreckage.
The self-launched glider and its pilot had not been seen since about 4pm on Saturday and was reported missing shortly after 8pm.
One of eight aircraft searching for the glider spotted the wreckage north west of Twizel yesterday.
The Rescue Coordination Centre said the pilot was the only person in the glider and he did not survive the crash.
Police will release his name after informing his next of kin.
Maritime New Zealand said the search for was made more difficult because no flight plan had been left.
The pilot was carrying a personal locator beacon, which is manually operated and was not activated.
The glider was not fitted with an emergency location transmitter, which would have activated automatically.
It is not yet known what caused the crash.