A parapenter has died after a speed-flying crash near Lake Wanaka this morning, police say.

The man was picked up from the Mt Isthmus area by helicopter and taken to Dunedin Hospital.

Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter pilot Graham Gale said he was "winched" off a hill.

He did not know what caused the crash, but said his condition at the time was serious.


Police were at the scene to provide support, and a spokeswoman said she understood the parapenter was speed-flying - a term used for fast hill descents.

A St John spokeswoman said St John was called about 10am, and a patient with "critical injuries" was transported to hospital.

He died as a result of his injuries this afternoon.

Speed-flying is an extreme sport that involves a combination of paragliding and skiing skills.

The death is the second paragliding related death this year, after 27-year-old American traveller Tyler Nii died on January 10.

Nii, who was from California, was missing and presumed dead after his tandem-skydiving instructor plunged into Lake Wakatipu while on a jump with skydive firm NZOne.

At the time NZOne director Anthony Ritter said it was the company's first fatal incident in 27 years.

Last month, two skydivers were also injured in separate crashes on September 4.

A man escaped serious injuries in a skydiving incident near Queenstown, crash-landing after a recreational parachute jump.

The skydiver was on a solo recreational flight - not a tandem skydive - and sustained the injuries as he came in to land at the NZOne landing zone.

NZOne Skydive said the man was taken by ambulance to Lakes District Hospital.

Elsewhere, a paraglider was flown to Dunedin Hospital with serious injuries after an incident near Cardrona Alpine Resort.