The search for a missing helicopter has entered its third day.

The Robinson 44 helicopter went missing above rugged, bushy terrain about 35km west of Motueka on Tuesday.

Damian Webster was flying from Karamea on the West Coast to Nelson on a maintenance mission when his Robinson 44 was lost over Kahurangi National Park.

High winds hampered the search effort yesterday but those gusts had died down and four helicopters were returning to the search area this morning.


Five land search and rescue teams spent the night in the area. Another two teams and a search and rescue dog will join those teams today.

Rescue Coordination Centre search and rescue controller Keith Allen said today's forecast was promising.

"Yesterday's conditions were frustrating for the helicopter crews and we hope to make significant progress in the detailed coverage of the search area today," Mr Allen said said. "The extra searchers on the ground will also allow us to target further areas of interest."

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre said no emergency beacon signal was detected from the missing helicopter.

The search area parameters were based on information from the helicopter's tracking system.The area being searched is about 5km in each direction from that point.

The aircraft was believed to belong to Helicopter Charter Karamea.

Two helicopters left Karamea about 8am Monday to fly to Nelson. The pilot of the second helicopter raised the alarm about noon that day when Mr Webster failed to arrive in Nelson.