One believed dead in Cardrona chopper crash

One person is believed to have died in a helicopter crash near Wanaka this evening.

An owner of the farm where the helicopter crashed said one person had been found dead at the scene.

It was not known if any one else was on board.

Inspector Alan Weston of police southern communications said they received a report of a crash at 8.30pm and sent emergency services to the area to search for the aircraft.

Police near the scene of the crash said there was at least one person on board at the time of the crash.

Two helicopters with flashlights circled the crash site on the Pisa Range, near Wanaka, this evening.

A medic, and fire officer and two or three land search and rescue staff were on board those helicopters.

Police said a witness had seen the helicopter drop out of the sky after its rotor stopped.

A spokeswoman for Wanaka-based Aspiring Helicopters Alex Ford said the company had sent a helicopter to the scene after a request from police.

Police asked the company to "go in a hurry'' because it was getting dark.