Chopper crash survivor 'looking kind of ugly'

Lake Hawea ski guide Mark Sedon still smiling

Last updated 09:31 18/08/2014
Mark Sedon
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'LOOKING UGLY': Injured Lake Hawea ski guide Mark Sedon is able to crack a smile from his hospital bed with friend Mark Thomas after surviving a fatal helicopter crash on Mount Alta near Wanaka.

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Lake Hawea ski guide Mark Sedon, who survived the fatal helicopter crash on Mt Alta near Wanaka on Saturday, is in good spirits in Dunedin Hospital.

Sedon broke two lumbar vertebrae and four ribs in the crash. 

Auckland man Jerome Box, 52, died when the chopper he and a group of four heli-skiers were flying in crashed.

Sedon said he had been overwhelmed by all the messages of support he had received.

''He may not be looking as pretty as normal but we are all very happy Mark survived [the] horrific helicopter crash near Wanaka," Sedon's friend Mark Thomas posted on Facebook.  

''Before I visited him in hospital today he warned me he was looking kind of ugly.

''Thankfully all his injuries are considered stable and he should make a full recovery after 2-4 weeks rest," Thomas said. 

''He will live to fight another day - well not so much fight as ski, paraglide, kite surf and mountain bike. An incredibly lucky, and grateful, man. An incredibly relieved community of family and friends,'' he said.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has launched an inquiry into the crash and investigators were expected to return to inspect the site today.

It was believed the helicopter barrel-rolled 1km down the side of the mountain before ending up in a ravine after pilot Dave Matthews attempting to land.

Matthews and the four other heli-skiers had been treated for their injuries and discharged from the Wanaka Medical Centre or Dunedin Hospital.

Sedon was the only person onboard to remain in hospital. A hospital spokeswoman was unable to provide an update on Sedon's condition this morning. 

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