The boss of two people killed in a Gisborne light plane crash yesterday says he and staff are "devastated" by their loss.
Farmers Air director Andrew Hogarth said those at the family-owned business were today mourning the death of pilot George Anderson and a ground crew member who has not yet been named.
The pair died when the plane they were flying crashed in rural Hangaroa yesterday morning.
It was understood the plane crashed into high-voltage power lines around 9am.
Their bodies were removed yesterday afternoon and were now undergoing post mortem examinations in Palmerston North, police said.
Today Hogarth offered his deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed.
"We are doing all we can to support them during this extraordinarily difficult time."
The crew at Farmers Air was tight-knit and all staff knew the families of the dead colleagues well, he said.
Hogarth described Anderson as an aviation enthusiast and a highly skilled operator.
"He was a friend and we'd worked together overseas. He was a very experienced pilot."
The ground crew member who died had been with the company only two months but was a valued member of the team who would be sorely missed.
Hogarth also offered his apologies to everyone who was inconvenienced by the power outages as a result of the accident.
He thanked Gisborne Police and Eastland Rescue Helicopter staff for their work on Monday.
"We also want to acknowledge the support given to myself and my staff from the aviation industry and local farming community."
Hogarth has owned Farmer's Air for two years.
"We pride ourselves on operating the best gear we can, the best equipment for our staff, and the best training.
"This is a tragic outcome and our thoughts are very much with the families of those involved. We are just grouping together now and trying to help each other to work through it."
Farmers Air was cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority in its investigation, he said.