Man in Crown Range helicopter crash proposes to girlfriend

Mitchell Green and his fiancee Kaydee Gosper from Sydney were on the helicopter that rolled on landing near Queenstown on Monday. Photo / Facebook
Mitchell Green and his fiancee Kaydee Gosper from Sydney were on the helicopter that rolled on landing near Queenstown on Monday. Photo / Facebook

A Sydney man proposed to his girlfriend moments after their helicopter crashed near Queenstown this week.

The incident happened on Monday when a helicopter with six people on board rolled over while attempting a snow landing at Mt Sale near Queenstown.

Emergency services said one person suffered leg injuries and was transported to Queenstown Hospital.

Sydney man Mitchell Green told Fairfax he was excited about proposing to his girlfriend in the Southern scenic wonderland but that turned to panic when the Helicopter Line (THL) chopper rolled over.

But despite the brush with disaster, he went ahead with the proposal to Kaydee Gosper moments after the crash.

She said yes.

Gosper told Fairfax the pilot was helping remove shaken passengers from the chopper when Green proposed.

"Mitch, as he couldn't walk, he had his arm around me. We were trying to get away from the helicopter and he said he couldn't wait any longer.

"He pulled it [the ring] out and he put it on my finger."

The couple, who are in New Zealand for a holiday, have been together seven years. Green has since undergone leg surgery at Southland Hospital.

The wreckage of the helicopter that tipped over while landing on Mt Sale, on the Crown Range, on Monday. Photo / NZ Police
The wreckage of the helicopter that tipped over while landing on Mt Sale, on the Crown Range, on Monday. Photo / NZ Police

Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigators visited the site today where a helicopter rolled.

Three Chinese tourists were with Gosper and Green on board the Eurocopter Squirrel AS350 B2 when it tipped over while landing on Mt Sale - on a flat area covered with tussock and snow - about 7km from Arrowtown.

TAIC was aware of the spate of aircraft incidents in the district in the past few years, and its investigations were important so it could "put in place recommendations which can prevent further accidents".

Jeff Staniland, chief executive of THL owner Skyline Enterprises, said the pilot had been stood down from flying duties, and the company would "not pre-judge" how long he would be grounded.

"We need to talk to him and see how he feels - we don't want to put pressure on him," Mr Staniland said. "He's going to be interviewed [by TAIC] and needs to focus on that."

The pilot had been flying for the company for more than two years.

The company would also conduct its own investigation into the accident, something which was "standard procedure".

It was keeping in touch with the passengers and offering any support they required, he said.

Auckland man Jerome Box, 52, died and seven people were injured in 2014 when a Squirrel helicopter operated by another Skyline subsidiary, Harris Mountains Heliski, crashed while attempting a snow landing on Mt Alta, near Lake Wanaka.

- with Otago Daily Times

- NZ Herald

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