Lucky escape from Rotorua chopper crash

A helicopter pilot and three passengers had a lucky escape after crash landing on Lake Rotorua this morning.

Emergency Services were called to Lake Rotorua about 10.15am after reports the helicopter had struck difficulty.

The female pilot from Volcanic Air Safaris was taking a scenic flight with a man and his two children.

The pilot landed about 80m off the shore of Lake Rd, near the end of Bennetts Rd, Koutu, police spokeswoman Kim Perks said .

When the pilot realised something was wrong, she turned the helicopter into shallow water on the lake to do a controlled landing, she said.

A local who witnessed the crash landing waded out to help the pilot and passengers out of the aircraft.

A boat in the area took the four people to Volcanic Air Safaris' base at the Rotorua Lakefront.

Dorien Vroom from the helicopter company said nobody on board was injured.

"Everybody's out at the moment having coffee."

Ms Vroom did not know how high the chopper was before ending up in the lake or why it needed to make the emergency landing.

Ms Perks said Civil Aviation Authority was securing the scene and investigating what went wrong.

It is understood the helicopter will be winched out of the lake by another aircraft.

Rotorua Fire Service senior station officer Colin Rolfe said it appeared the pilot did a fantastic job landing the helicopter safely.

"It landed upright on its skids," he said.


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