The mother of a Kiwi injured in a chopper crash in South Australia this week says the call alerting her to the accident was her "worst nightmare" come true.

Jon Rodden, 32, was one of three men who suffered serious injuries in the crash late Sunday morning in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.

His mother, Wendy Rodden, who has three other grown children living in New Zealand, said it was a "shock" to hear of the crash.

"Because he worked in helicopters it was always my worst nightmare."


Rodden, who worked for Aeropower, was a passenger in the helicopter.

Australian media reported the Kiwi, who's been living across the Tasman for five or six years, was part of a team surveying power lines in the chopper when it lost power and plummeted to the ground in South Flinders shortly before 11.30am on Sunday.

The 58-year-old pilot, from Adelaide, was praised in media reports for having landed the floundering helicopter on its skids.

Early this week Rodden, who has a twin brother living in Christchurch, underwent surgery for his back injuries, but his mother believed he should recover well.

"He's got movement in his legs, they had him up on his feet for a bit, but he got dizzy, which is understandable given what he's gone through.

"I'm very relieved there's no bad damage ... he's strong, he's a good little healer."

Mrs Rodden had initially planned to fly to Australia to be by her son's bedside at Royal Adelaide Hospital, but said he'd told her to wait.

"He's got his fiance, and he's got lots of friends there."

She believed he'd soon be transferred to a hospital at the Gold Coast where he lived with his fiance, Kylie Schmith.

Because it's an industrial accident a media spokesperson at the Royal Adelaide Hospital said the company had instructed the crash victims not to divulge any further information.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the cause of the crash.