A female pilot has been killed in a helicopter crash near Wanaka this evening.

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the female pilot, the sole occupant and the partner of the operator of the aircraft, died in the crash.

The helicopter was a Robinson R22.

Inspector Alan Weston of police southern communications said they received a report of a crash at 8.30pm and sent emergency services to the area to search for the aircraft.

Two helicopters with flashlights circled the crash site on the Pisa Range, near Wanaka, this evening.

Police said a witness had seen the helicopter drop out of the sky after its rotor stopped.

A spokeswoman for Wanaka-based Aspiring Helicopters Alex Ford said the company had sent a helicopter to the scene after a request from police.

Police asked the company to "go in a hurry'' because it was getting dark.