Chopper tips in soft glacier snow

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 11/01/2014

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Five people escaped injury when the helicopter they were in tipped over in deep soft snow on the Richardson Glacier near Mt Cook.

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when the pilot attempted to land the Squirrel, owned and operated by The Helicopter Line New Zealand.

General manager Grant Bisset said it was a minor incident, which did not result in any injuries.

"All it was, was a situation with pretty deep snow where a helicopter's just rolled onto its side when it's landed.

"It was the inconvenience of soft snow, really."

There were four passengers on board - two from Sweden and two from Indonesia.

They were checked over by a Mt Cook paramedic.

Mr Bisset said the extent of the damage to the helicopter was not yet known, but he believed it was not significant.

The incident was not regarded as a crash, therefore the Transport Accident Investigation Commission would not be investigating, Mr Bisset said.

Twizel Senior Constable Kevin McGartland said police were also not investigating the incident.

He said the helicopter was left on the glacier and would be recovered by the company when it was possible to do so.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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