Milford training plane crashes in remote valley

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Two pilots are injured after a plane on a training flight crashed in the Von Valley today (Friday) between Queenstown and Te Anau.

Milford Sound Flights, which owns the plane, says one pilot was transported to Invercargill and the other to Dunedin.

“One of the pilots is serious but stable in Dunedin and the other has gone to Invercargill, probably in better shape but still pretty serious,” a spokesman for the firm says.  

“It’s looking hopeful – that’s better news than perhaps could be expected. But at this stage that’s all we know.

Support craft including a rescue helicopter have been on site, after the plane’s emergency locator beacon was activated.

Milford Sound Flights is a joint venture between Queenstown-based tourism giants Skyline Enterprises and Real Journeys.

Milford Sound Flights boss Jeff Staniland says: “It’s been a difficult day for the team and their families here at Milford Sound Flights.

“Our thoughts are with our pilots at this time.
 
“In respect of the circumstances we will be suspending our commercial operations this weekend.”