UPDATE: Helicopter crash lands on Lake Rotorua

By Kelly Makiha, Cherie Taylor


A helicopter pilot and three passengers had a lucky escape after an emergency landing on Lake Rotorua.

The helicopter is owned by Volcanic Air Safaris and director Dorien Vroom said the cause of the emergency landing about mid-morning yesterday was under investigation but it had been a "smooth" landing for the pilot and three passengers - a man and his two children.

All those on board were rescued from the stricken helicopter, which was left resting upright in less than 1m of water, about 80m off the shore of Lake Rotorua, near the end of Bennetts Rd, Koutu.

A helicopter was used to winch it out of the water late yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Vroom said the female pilot of the Robinson R44 turned the chopper and landed as a precaution after noticing something wrong during the scenic flight.

"It was a low-stress incident. She landed very smoothly in the lake. It was very controlled," she said.

The pilot was expected back at work today.



Mrs Vroom said she was not able to say what caused the pilot to make the move as the incident still had to be investigated by Volcanic Air Safaris and the Civil Aviation Authority.


Emergency services were called to Lake Rotorua to deal with the incident about 10.15am.

Rotorua police communications manager Kim Perks said a local who witnessed the crash landing waded out to help the pilot and passengers out of the aircraft.

A boat in the area took the four people to Volcanic Air Safaris' base at the Rotorua Lakefront.


Ms Perks said the Civil Aviation Authority was securing the scene and investigating.

Rotorua Fire Service senior station officer Colin Rolfe said it appeared the pilot did a fantastic job landing the helicopter safely.

"It landed upright on its skids," he told The Daily Post.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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