Twelve people were airlifted from Tyndall Glacier this
afternoon after a helicopter clipped another chopper and
rolled while landing.
The helicopter crashed near the head of the Shotover River in
Mt Aspiring National Park just after 3pm with seven people on
The pilot was injured, while the passengers and those on the
second helicopter escaped with only minor injuries.
A Rescue Coordination Centre spokeswoman said the helicopter
appeared to have clipped another while landing on the Tyndall
Glacier, and crashed.
Sarah Brazil said an emergency locator beacon was activated
by one of the helicopters and a mayday call was received
Four helicopters were sent to the scene, including one
carrying paramedics and crash rescue medics.
Ms Brazil said both helicopters involved in the crash were
from the same company.
Search Mission Coordinator Kevin Banaghan said four rescue
helicopters had worked together to retrieve the pilot and
Eleven people with various minor injuries were brought to
Queenstown Airport about 5.15pm. The injured pilot was taken
to Queenstown Hospital and was expected to be transferred to
Dunedin Hospital this evening.
The extent of his injuries were not known.
The Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident
Investigation Commission (TAIC) had been informed of the
TAIC said two investigators would travel to Queenstown
tomorrow then continue on to the accident site.
They would gather background information on the flight,
interview witnesses, and inspect the accident site and
wreckage before any recovery work began.