Tributes for pilot after top-dressing plane crashes

Aero Work operates fixed wing aircraft like the one pictured across much of the North Island and the South Island.
Aero Work operates fixed wing aircraft like the one pictured across much of the North Island and the South Island. Photo credit: Ravensdown/Aero Work

A pilot who was killed when a top-dressing plane crashed in Wairarapa has been described as an experienced, dedicated and hugely valued team member.

The aircraft which crashed near Carterton belongs to Ravensdown-owned Aero Work.

Police were alerted to the incident at around 7:30am on Friday.

Fire and Emergency said the crash happened on a rural property around Kourarau Hill.

"The sole occupant of the plane was found deceased," a police spokesperson said.

In a statement the farmer-owned fertiliser company said the incident involved one of its fertiliser spreading aircraft.

The crash happened on a rural property around Kourarau Hill.
The crash happened on a rural property around Kourarau Hill. Photo credit: Google maps

"The team is working closely with the emergency crews and have reached out to the family.

"As a close knit team, there are feelings of shock and sadness as we grapple with this terrible incident," Ravensdown said.

It said the pilot was an experienced, dedicated and hugely valued team member. 

"Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we will not be confirming the individual’s identity to give them time to process the devastating news."

Ravensdown purchased Wanganui Aero Work (WAW) in 2004.

The company carries out aerial applications such as fertiliser spreading and agriculture spraying.

On its website it says it operates fixed wing aircraft across much of the North Island and the South Island, primarily Cresco aircraft.

The death will be referred to the coroner and the crash will be investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority.

"A full investigation will begin and we will co-operate fully with WorkSafe and the Civil Aviation Authority throughout.

"Our thoughts are with the family at this terrible time." 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz