Man dead as missing plane found in central Otago

A man has died in a light plane crash in central Otago.

Police said a search and rescue operation was launched after an emergency beacon alert from the private light aircraft about 5:30pm on Wednesday.

The plane was found at 4am on Thursday near Alexandra and the sole occupant was found dead at the scene.

"Work is now being undertaken to recover his body," a police spokesperson said.

"We'd like to acknowledge and thank the tireless work of the Wakatipu and central Otago Search and Rescue volunteers and Otago Helicopters staff who have worked throughout the night."

The Civil Aviation Authority has been notified of the crash, police said.