Police name man who died in Feilding plane crash

Members of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter Team watch as fire crews work to free a Piper Pawnee plane pilot who was trapped after crashing into a tree in Feilding on May 7.

Provided / Stuff

Members of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter Team watch as fire crews work to free a Piper Pawnee plane pilot who was trapped after crashing into a tree in Feilding on May 7.

A man who was seriously injured after his plane crashed into a tree in Feilding earlier this month has been confirmed dead and his name has been released by police.

In a statement on Monday, police confirmed Palmerston North man Ronald Sanders, 74, died of serious injuries sustained in the May 7 crash.

An obituary published by Manawatu Standard May 23, Sanders died in Wellington Hospital on Thursday May 19 following what was at the time an unspecified accident.

Emergency services were notified of the crash after a Piper Pawnee aircraft carrying a glider ran into trouble over Feilding airfield at 2.05pm on Saturday May 7.

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While the glider landed safely after the towline broke, the Pawnee crashed into a tree near the airfield.

Ross Anderson, president of the Whanganui-Manawatū Gliding Club, said Things as club members watched the incident unfold from the ground.

He said it broke their close-knit community as the two pilots had been members of the club for a long time.

He described both men as “well loved and respected in the Feilding aviation community”.

“A lot of us saw what happened. It was just awful and it will take us all a little while to come back from it.

The Civil Aviation Authority was notified of the accident at the time.

The death will be referred to the coroner.

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