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Sad to Report

Old 19th Mar 2004, 03:17
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Sad to Report

Today In New Zealand News

2001 file photo of a Fouga Magister warbirds plane - Fotopress/John Cowpland
One Body Recovered From Wreckage
19/03/2004 02:57 PM

Emergency services have recovered one body from the wreckage of a vintage warbird which crashed in the Firth of Thames.

Ambulance team leader Kathryn Caulfield says both people on board the Fouga Magister plane have died.

She says one body has been recovered but emergency services are still trying to reach the other person.

The body of the second occupant remains in the aircraft, 100 metres off the coast of Kaiaua about 10.20 this morning.

Police spokeswoman Angeline Barlow says the jet is partially buried in the mud, making recovery difficult.

She says they are waiting for low tide for easier access to the aircraft.

The Auckland police helicopter Eagle is at the scene along with fire and ambulance staff.

Eyewitnesses say the Fouga was performing aerobatics which were followed by a loud bang, before the jet spiraled into the sea.

The plane flew out of Ardmore, south of Auckland, and was due to have taken part in this weekend's Wings and Wine airshow at Taupo.

Warbirds Association spokesman Roy Armstrong says there were two male crew on board.

Kaiaua resident June Thompson's house overlooks the bay where she can see the wing sticking out of the mud.

The plane that crashed is the only example of the aircraft in New Zealand, and was imported by the late Dougal Dallison in 1998.

It entered service in June 1960 and has its original engines but has been fitted with a hydraulic boost.

It was on active service until June 1995 with the French Armee de l'Air, having been rebuilt as a light strike aircraft.

It was last in service with the 8th Escadre de Chasse at the Centre de Tir et de Bombardement where it was used to identify targets.

The aircraft was reassembled by WrightAir at Tauranga after being decommissioned by the French, and registered on March 17, 1998, a year before Mr Dallison's sudden death.

The plane was then sold to a warbirds syndicate, operating as 'Caltrack Associates'
yarmouth is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2004, 03:22
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I don't know any of the crew involved or have i probably ever seen the aircraft in action. However my thoughts go out to the family and friends of the crew members involved. May they rest in peace
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