Lifestyle & Belief

NZ: Man decapitated by home-made hovercraft

A New Zealand man was decapitated in front of his partner by a home-made hovercraft he had built from a kit.

Anyone can build or operate a hovercraft in New Zealand without a license.

He was conducting a test drive when there was an engine failure which caused a blade to strike his head, New Zealand's Herald website reports.

The 40-year-old died instantly when the accident happened about midday on Sunday at Meriwai Beach, west of Auckland, with his partner and a next-door neighbor looking on, police said, ABC reports.

The man had built the hovercraft at his west Auckland home from a kitset.

Sergeant Colin Nuttall, from the Waitemata police serious crash unit, said he did not know where he bought it or if he had experience with hovercraft kitsets.

"He took it up there for a test run. It was the first time he'd tried to drive it, but I'm not sure if it was the first time he'd started it up," he said.

"His partner and neighbor were there at the time, they saw it."

An engineer who was a hovercraft expert was assisting police with their investigations.

"He's going to come in and have a look at the device and tell us what his feelings are about how it's been built and everything else - how it failed and why it failed."