24 Jan 2012

Feilding crash site handed over to CAA

5:52 pm on 24 January 2012

Investigators have almost completed examining the site of a plane crash in Feilding that killed two people.

The Yak 52 crashed in Timona Park about 10.45am on Tuesday, killing pilot Ralph Saxe, 51, and sole passenger Brett Ireland, 50.


The men were on a flight from Taonui airfield nearby. Dr Saxe was from Palmerston North and Dr Ireland was previously from Manawatu but had been living in Queensland. Both were well known in Manawatu.

The police disaster victim identification team completed their work on Tuesday and handed the scene over to the Civil Aviation Authority which is investigating the cause of the crash.

The wreckage of the plane is expected to be removed from the park on Wednesday.

Yak 52 required a skilled hand - pilot

A pilot who flies a Yak 52 says it is a high-performance aircraft requiring a skilled hand.

Double-X Flight based in Tauranga takes tourists on aerobatic flights in this type of plane.

Owner and pilot Peter Meadows says the Yak is an extremely robust, high-performance plane that was used to train fighter pilots in Soviet Russia.

Mr Meadows says he knew Ralph Saxe, who was one of 19 pilots flying Yak 52 planes in New Zealand.