Brazil pilot survives crash landing in Amazon but dies in rescue

image copyrightHandout - Roraima Government
image captionOfficials only recovered the pilot's body on Saturday

A Brazilian pilot who crash-landed into an Amazon river, saving the life of his passenger, has died after falling from a rescue helicopter.

The single-engine plane managed to land on the river after an electrical fault. It submerged within seconds.

Both pilot and passenger managed to escape and waited hours to be rescued in a hard to reach area in the jungle.

When rescuers threw a rope for them to climb up, the pilot lost his grip, fell into the river and was dragged away.

The 64-year-old pilot, Elcides Rodrigues Pereira, has been hailed as a hero after footage emerged of the dramatic crash landing, last Wednesday, in the northern state of Roraima.

Mr Pereira and Ednilson Cardoso, a 28-year-old nursing technician, were on a health mission to visit a remote indigenous tribe.

Mr Cardoso told local media that he had tied the rope around the pilot, who was tired, but he fell into the Catrimani river.

The failed rescue operation was organised by the owners of the aircraft, and not by the authorities. Fire-fighters only managed to find the body of the pilot on Saturday.

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