The family of a 52-year-old man injured in a fatal helicopter crash yesterday say he is "pretty knocked around" but improving.

Murray Sarginson was on the chopper when it crashed in foggy conditions at midday east of Lindis Pass, Central Otago.

Another person died in the crash but the person's details were not available last night.

Cousin Don Sarginson said Murray's wife, Jackie, and other family members had rushed to Dunedin Hospital to be at his side.


"He is pretty knocked around but I think he's going to be all right."

It's is understood the helicopter, a Robinson R22, was owned by Aurum Helicopters, a crop-spraying company based in Cromwell.

The company could not ve reached for comment last night.

Otago Rescue Helicopter spokesman Graeme Gale said the rescue was a straightforward winch operation.

The Otago team stabilised Sarginson so he could be transported safely to Dunedin Hospital.

The police were then taken in by another chopper so they could recover the dead person.

"We were the first on the scene and we just went about our business," Gale said. "Our focus is on doing what we can to save lives."

Gale said his thoughts were with the dead person's family and the injured man.

"It is extremely sad when someone loses their life and our thoughts are always with their family."

Central Otago mayor Tony Lepper said the Sarginson family were well-known in the aviation field.

"Unfortunately helicopter crashes are more common because helicopters are part of our lives," he said. "When we lose family members and people in our community because of them it is always devastating."

The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the crash.