Gary Skedgwell, 30, was on a commercia' />

The flying instructor badly injured involved in Monday's plane crash has been moved off the critical list.

Gary Skedgwell, 30, was on a commercial pilot's licence training flight from Hastings Airport with trainee Sam Metzger, 18, when the two-seater Air Hawke's Bay Piper Tomahawk crashed in the Ruahine Ranges, north of Palmerston North.

Both men were initially taken to Palmerston North Hospital, but Mr Skedgwell was transferred to Wellington after his condition worsened.

After having surgery for bleeding on the brain and for a severe leg injury on Tuesday, Mr Skedgwell remained in the intensive care unit in an induced coma yesterday.

He was taken off the critical list this morning, although he remained on a ventilator in the ICU, a hospital spokesman said.

Mr Metzer, who suffered serious chest and leg injuries in the crash, was in a stable condition in Palmerston North Hospital.

Civil Aviation Authority ruled out engine failure as a cause of the crash and its investigation was continuing.

- NZPA