Man still serious after chopper crash

One of two men who were injured in a helicopter crash on a Marlborough farm yesterday is still in a serious condition in hospital.

The chopper, believed to be a Blenheim-based Schweizer 269 two-seater, came down in Bonaveree Farm yesterday morning.

Pilot Grant McCallum, in his 40s, and another man in his early 30s, are understood to have been deer hunting on the property when the crash occurred.

They were air-lifted to Wellington Hospital following a rescue operation.

The passenger was this morning described as being in a serious condition by a hospital spokesman.

McCallum was in a stable condition. His wife had last night flown to the hospital to be at his bed-side.

The unnamed passenger was found about three metres from the helicopter, which had its rotors snagged in manuka, Doug Avery, who owns the farm, told APNZ yesterday.

The helicopter came down over the boundary fence from Boundary Rider Wines vineyard.

Mr Avery's daughter Alice said the two Blenheim men were hunting when they crashed.

Cutting equipment has had to be lifted in by helicopter to free the men, who are conscious.

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 the two injured men.

- Patrice Dougan of APNZ

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