Helicopter rolls during Crown Range landing

By Guy Williams

Jeff Staniland, chief executive of THL owner Skyline Enterprises, said the helicopter ''tipped over'' while landing on snow on Mt Sale during a sightseeing flight. Photo / Supplied
Jeff Staniland, chief executive of THL owner Skyline Enterprises, said the helicopter ''tipped over'' while landing on snow on Mt Sale during a sightseeing flight. Photo / Supplied

A helicopter with six people on board has rolled over while attempting a snow landing on the Crown Range near Queenstown this afternoon.

The incident, which involved an aircraft operated by The Helicopter Line (THL), happened about 3pm.

Jeff Staniland, chief executive of THL owner Skyline Enterprises, said the helicopter ''tipped over'' while landing on snow on Mt Sale during a sightseeing flight.

"They've landed on the snow and the helicopter has rolled onto its side. The big question of course is why and until an investigation is carried out it's just speculation - we have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.

"Fortunately everyone is pretty much OK," Staniland told Newshub. "But we understand one of the passengers has cut their knee."

Chinese tour guide Ben Wu told Newshub that the helicopter had just tipped over.

"No roll over, just tip off. They just go to hospital to double check."

An Australian couple and three Chinese visitors were on board along with the pilot when the helicopter tipped.

One passenger suffered a cut knee in the incident but Staniland had been told everyone on board was doing alright after some were sent to hospital for further inspection.

The helicopter's rotor blade had been damaged in the incident but any further damage wouldn't be known until after the investigation was carried out, he said.

Police were making inquiries and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission was launching an investigation.

TAIC spokesman Peter Northcote said a group of four staff would be in Queesntown from tomorrow to inspect the aircraft, talk to those who had been on board and gathering information about the operation to try and find out what had happened.

Mt Sale is about half way between Arrowtown and Cardrona village.

- Otago Daily Times

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