Chopper crashes near Blenheim

Two men were injured when the helicopter they were in crashed on a farm beside a Marlborough winery this morning.

Ally Avery said the crash occurred on a farm belonging to her father Doug Avery. The helicopter came down "over the boundary fence" from the Averys' winery.

Mrs Avery said the two Blenheim men were hunting when they crashed. Cutting equipment had to be lifted in by helicopter to free them.

Both men were taken to Wellington hospital, one with a leg injury, the other with a back injury.

Emergency services were alerted to the crash near Glenake Road at 8.47am. Members of the Avery and Taylor families, who own Boundary Rider Wines, rushed to assist.

Confusion occurred after the crashed pilot activated a rescue beacon and told emergency services he was within the winery.

The helicopter is reported to be a Schweizer 269 two seater based in Blenheim.

Tom Butler, manager of the nearby Grassmere Lodge, said fog was "heavy and thick" this morning.

"You wouldn't be able to see more than fifty metres," Mr Butler said.

Chamois and deer hunting takes place in the Kaikoura Ranges hills surrounding the winery.

"Quite a few choppers fly around but I wouldn't think too many would hunt," Mr Butler said.

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