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Fatal helicopter Crash

Fatal helicopter Crash

Emergency services responded to a fatal Helicopter crash on the Criffel Range, near Wanaka last night.

Sergeant Aaron Nicholson, the Wanaka Police SAR Coordinator, confirmed that a Robinson 22 Helicopter crashed at about 8.40pm last night, Thursday 8th of November 2012. He stated that Police, Fire, St John and LandSAR personnel all responded with some urgency to the scene with support from the Otago rescue helicopter out of Dunedin and another Helicopter from Queenstown.

Nicholson stated that the joint response ran very smoothly and emergency services, including LandSAR teams, got to the site to find significant wreckage and the sole occupant, near the wreckage, deceased.

Fire crews on site contained any fire risk, while Police enquiries and scene examination confirmed the Pilot was the only person in the helicopter.

Further enquiries indicated that the deceased and a friend had earlier flown from Queenstown to Wanaka Airport to pick up another light aircraft and then both returned to Queenstown via the Cardrona Valley, one flying the aircraft the other flying the R22 Helicopter. The deceased's friend arrived in Queenstown unaware of any incident involving the R22 Helicopter.

The deceased was a 52 year old woman from Queenstown. NOK are yet to be advised and it is expected that the deceased name will be released later this morning.

Police have reported the matter to the Coroner and Civil Aviation Authority for further investigation.


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