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Topdresser pilot out of intensive care

THE top dressing pilot injured in Saturday’s crash in the Tiniroto area remains in a stable condition in Gisborne Hospital. The Civil Aviation Authority has an inquiry under way.

The injured 43-year-old pilot was moved from intensive care to a general ward yesterday.

His aircraft crashed at a farm airstrip just off the Tiniroto Road near the Tiniroto Tavern at around 9am on Saturday morning.

“A Pacific Aerospace 750XL aeroplane had a non-fatal accident during topdressing operations,” a CAA official said yesterday.

“We have been provided information from the police and are now working with the operator.

“It is too early to determine the cause of the accident as we are in the evidence-gathering phase of the investigation,” he said.

Police said the aircraft, operated by Farmers Air, was taking off when the mishap occurred.

“The aircraft ended up in a paddock at the end of airstrip.

“The aircraft’s loader driver got the injured pilot out of the aircraft and raised the alarm.”

Police from Manutuke and Tuai attended, as well as a rescue helicopter from Hawke’s Bay.

Steps have been taken to recover the badly damaged aircraft.