3 Aug 2013

Pair seriously hurt after plane flips

11:42 am on 3 August 2013

Two pilots have been seriously injured after their light plane flipped coming into land on an airstrip between Queenstown and Te Anau.

An emergency locator beacon was activated about 9.30am on Friday and searchers found the Cessna lying upside down about 5km south of Mount Nicholas in the Von Valley.

The pilots were treated at the scene before being flown to hospital. Both are from Queenstown and work for Milford Sound Flights.

The company's chief executive, Jeff Staniland, says a 64-year-old man is in Dunedin Hospital in a stable condition, while a 40-year-old man is being treated in Southland Hospital for multiple fractures.

Sergeant Pete Graham, of Te Anau, says it appears the plane struck a bank on its approach to the airstrip before landing on its back.

Police have conducted a scene examination on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority, which is investigating.