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N.H. man dies in New Zealand crash

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Jonathan Stein, of Portsmouth, N.H., was one of two men who died yesterday when a helicopter crashed into steep terrain in Mount Aspiring National Park on New Zealand's South Island, police said.

Stein, 61, was in New Zealand on a short visit, Wanaka Detective Derek Shaw said.

The chopper pilot, who was also killed when the Robinson 22 helicopter crashed into Homestead Peak, west of Lake Wanaka, was identified by police as Keith Andrew MacKenzie, 29, of Ontario, Canada.

MacKenzie was a trainee pilot working in the tourism industry in the farming and resort town of Wanaka to gain his commercial helicopter rating.

Shaw said it had been a ''high-impact crash" that spread debris about 300 feet down the steep slope and sparked a fire on the peak at an altitude of about 5,000 feet.

Local farmer John Aspinall said that flying conditions had been ''ideal" at the time of the crash.

Police and alpine rescue workers recovered the bodies of the two men later yesterday.

Police and aircraft accident inspectors are investigating.

Wanaka is about 500 miles south of the capital, Wellington.

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