Two pilots dead after planes collide

Two people are dead after their light planes crashed into each other then caught fire as one made its final approach into Hood Aerodrome near Masterton today.

An eyewitness has described the moment the planes collided, with a loud bang followed by debris “swirling down” out of the sky.

Michael O’Donnell of the Wairarapa Aero Club confirmed that one of their members had been killed in a mid-air collision this morning with what is reported to have been an aircraft from Skydive Wellington

Clearly, the club is in shock. We’re working with authorities,” O’Donnell said. “It’s not something we would expect in this weather.” Weather conditions are fine in Masterton, with clear skies and the sun shining.

Newshub reported that Skydive Wellington, which operates from Hood Aerodrome, had confirmed one of its planes was involved in the crash.

It is understood that at the time of the collision, the skydiving plane was returning to the aerodrome after skydivers jumped.

Police have confirmed that two people died in the crash. Emergency services are expected to remain at the scene of the accident for some time.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman said they were called at 11.13am after two light aircraft collided.

“They were on the ground on fire. We responded with crews from Masterton, Carterton, Greytown and Palmerston North.

“The fire has been extinguished and we are now assisting police operations.”