Helicopter wreckage found in Fiordland

21:19, Nov 21 2012

A specialist police search team will be dispatched to a Fiordland valley this morning after the wreckage of a helicopter was discovered above the snowline.

Police were advised about 4pm yesterday that people on a sightseeing helicopter flight over the Hollyford Valley had spotted what appeared to be the wreckage of a helicopter in the Humboldt Creek area.

Police from Queenstown flew into the area in the early evening to confirm the sighting and were able to complete a limited investigation at the scene.

A police search and rescue and alpine cliff rescue staff are to travel to the site this morning with the aim of identifying the helicopter and conducting a scene examination.

Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill police, said the wreckage was believed to be several years old.

‘‘Most of the time it would be covered in snow,’’ he said.

Raynes said police had some idea of the identity of the crashed helicopter but did not want to make it public before informing families of those who were believed to have been on board.

‘‘We have some idea what the helicopter was and who was on it — we are going up to confirm it.’'

"We don't know for sure - there are a number of missing helicopters in New Zealand. It appears to be a number of years old.''

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The Southland Times