UPDATED 3.52pm: The two men killed in a plane crash near Timaru yesterday were a police officer and a flight instructor who had been awarded for his work.
Fifty one-year-old Senior Sergeant Randel Tikitiki and his friend 86-year-old veteran aviator Jack Mehlhopt were killed in the accident at Seadown last night.
Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles says the tragic and sudden loss of life has rocked not only the community in Timaru, but everyone at Canterbury Police.
He says Senior Sergeant Tikitiki was a valued friend and colleague and respected member of the community.
Mr Mehlhopt's family says he was a loving father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather who will be missed by his friends and family.
In 2012 he was awarded by the Air Line Pilots' Association for excellence in aviation instruction.