A helicopter crash on farmland near Horowhenua hospitalised a student pilot and shocked his trainer.
Police said there were two people in the chopper when it crashed on a Walkers Lane property near Waikawa Beach at about 1.20pm today.
Both occupants of the helicopter escaped, with one male patient in his 50s being transported to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate injuries.
A MidCentral District Health Board spokeswoman confirmed the condition of the patient is stable, and he is likely to be discharged tonight.
Senior sergeant Sam Gilpin from Levin Police said, "indications at this stage suggest that a trainee has been in control of the helicopter, under instruction, and has crashed during that instruction".
He said there was substantial damage done to the helicopter.
"They are very lucky, obviously any crash with an aircraft is serious, so they are very very lucky.
"However an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority will come to a conclusion as to what caused the crash."
The next stage of the recovery is yet to be determined and police are working with CAA to determine that.
Land owner David Keeling confirmed the pilot was a student.
The pilot was "a bit banged up and had a cut on his face", Keeling said.
The other pilot, believed to be a trainer, was still at the scene and looked to be uninjured.
Miraz Jordan, a Waikawa Beach resident who lives close to the crash scene, said she was on her deck eating lunch when she heard the helicopter fly by.
"There are always helicopters and planes flying around here because it is a low-fly training zone," she said.
"I heard this one coming, glanced up and saw it was the usual kind of thing and went back to eating lunch.
"Moments later I heard a big bang, the kind of bang you hear in a car crash, and then no sound - when there should have been rotors turning."
Jordan said she waited a few moments to see if she could hear anything or see any debris or smoke, before she decided to call police.
"I thought I better call the police because it is a rural and somewhat isolated area and I thought I might have been the only person who had seen it and they could be injured.
"After talking to police I got my binoculars out and I could actually see a couple of people walking around beside the helicopter so I figured whoever was in it was at least walking around."
Jordan said this was the second helicopter crash she has seen, having also witnessed a helicopter crash on Wellington's Mt Victoria in 2001.
"I hope I don't ever get to witness a third helicopter crash," she said. "I am very glad nobody was killed in this incident."
Emergency services remained at the scene until late this afternoon, while emergency tape could be seen blocking access to the helicopter.