Pilot killed in Central Otago helicopter crash

KIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 05:00 09/11/2012

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A pilot was been killed in a helicopter crash in Central Otago last night.

The crash, near Cardrona Valley Rd, halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown, was reported to emergency services at 8.38pm.

About 40 minutes later police found the wreckage of the Robinson R22 helicopter and the body of the female pilot, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman Mike Richards said.

She was believed to be the partner of the helicopter business operator, but this had not been confirmed, he said.

Emergency services, including two police cars, a fire unit, a fire rescue van and an ambulance, set up a base outside a house at Spotburn Station while they searched for the wreckage, a person at the scene said.

Two helicopters appeared to have been involved in the search, along with both search and rescue staff.

Richards said a CAA safety investigation team would be on site today to inspect the wreckage and determine the cause of the crash, Richards said.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission would not be investigating, he said.

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- Fairfax Media

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