Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Inquiry into Rotorua helicopter crash prompts international warnings

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International warnings have been issued following a helicopter crash in Rotorua, but the final findings as to what caused the crash are not expected until next year.

The Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter crash landed on Hawthornden Drive in Tikitere on April 15 and burst into flames. The pilot managed to escape uninjured. Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) general manager for communications and investigation support Peter Northcote told the Rotorua Daily Post the investigation had a significant international component involving Europe/France (aircraft manufacture), US (engine manufacture), and Japan (a relevant component manufacture).

The investigation was focused on establishing the cause of the engine problem and ensuing fire, he said.

"We identified an apparent problem early on and alerted relevant authorities which has led to international warnings to check the spark plug type used on the accident machine - however it's important to note that TAIC has made no formal findings of cause yet.

"The investigation is ongoing, and we would hope to have it wrapped up by mid-2017, but there's still a lot of ground to cover. We are working with, particularly, the engine manufacturer, to confirm precisely what may have occurred here."

There are 22 of the aircraft type on the New Zealand registry, three of which are in Whakatane and one in Tauranga.

At the time, Tikitere resident Rob Tane told the Rotorua Daily Post he was relaxing on his deck when he and his family saw a low-flying helicopter filled with smoke.

The helicopter landed heavily in the paddock next door.

Mr Tane saw the pilot jump out of the chopper and run.

"He sprinted to the fence and jumped it just before it caught fire."

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