'Canopy flier' dies in Wanaka accident

NZ Newswire Updated February 17, 2012, 5:44 pm

A 40-year old Australian man is dead following an extreme sport accident near Wanaka.

The man, who lived in Wanaka, was "canopy flying" when the accident occurred about midday on Thursday.

Canopy flying uses a combination of skills from paragliding and sky diving, and is considered an extreme sport similar in risk to base jumping.

Search and rescue spokesman Phillip Melchior told NZ Newswire the man, who was using a "speed flying wing", had launched himself off the Treble Cone Ski Field Road, a popular spot for canopy flying enthusiasts, just before he crashed.

The accident was seen by at least one other flyer in the area at the time.

Witnesses rushed to crash site and raised the alarm. CPR was performed for about 40 minutes, but the man was pronounced dead when an emergency doctor arrived at the scene, Mr Melchior said.

The man's body was removed from the crash site, about 200m below the access road, by helicopter.

The man's name will not be released until next of kin have been informed.

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