A man in his 40s has died after yesterday's helicopter crash near Waiouru.

He was in a critical condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital's Intensive Care Unit as a result of injuries he suffered in the helicopter crash.

The family have asked for privacy but said: "He was a hugely loved husband, father and brother, and much loved by all his wider family and friends. His death is a tragic loss not only to his family but the wider farming community, and to all those who knew and loved him."

The main rotor gearbox was separated from the wreckage. Photo/Greenlea Rescue Helicopter
The main rotor gearbox was separated from the wreckage. Photo/Greenlea Rescue Helicopter

Two men, one in his 40s and the other in his 30s, remain in a serious but stable condition.

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Two other men did not need hospital treatment.

The Hughes MD600N helicopter was undertaking a commercial survey operation in the area, when at 8.50am, Rescue Coordination Centre NZ received an alert from the ELT distress beacon on board, providing a location at Oturua Stream.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said another helicopter from the same company was initially sent to provide a fast, initial response to determine the situation, with the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter from Taupo arriving on scene soon after to provide medical care.

Greenlea Rescue Helicopter pilot Nat Every said they were the first helicopter on the scene by about 40 minutes.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission sent three investigators to the crash site and has opened an inquiry.

The chief investigator of accidents, Captain Tim Burfoot, said the helicopter was extensively damaged in the crash.

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ROTORUA DAILY POST
14 Jun, 2018 11:57am
3 minutes to read