11 Oct 2014

Helicopter pilot's body recovered

9:02 pm on 11 October 2014

Police say the body of helicopter pilot Damian Webster who was killed when his helicopter crashed in Kahurangi National Park, has been recovered.

Kahurangi National Park

Damian Webster went missing in Kahurangi National Park on Tuesday. Photo: Photo NZ

Mr Webster and his Robinson 44 helicopter went missing en route from Karamea to Nelson on Tuesday, and was found yesterday in rugged terrain.

Maritime New Zealand said searchers in a helicopter hovering about 30 metres above the bush canopy spotted a sheet of paper in a tree yesterday afternoon.

A crew member was winched down and confirmed it was from the missing helicopter.

A search and rescue team went into the area and a few hours later found Mr Webster's body and the wreckage in steep and rugged terrain.

Sergeant Mike Fitzsimons said Mr Webster's body was flown from the area this afternoon and taken to Nelson by funeral directors.

A post-mortem is scheduled for tomorrow.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority are both investigating the crash.