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Glacier helicopter crash investigated

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2015
A helicopter crash on the West Coast, after a problem during take-off, has left three men injured, including one seriously. © MSN A helicopter crash on the West Coast, after a problem during take-off, has left three men injured, including one seriously.

Officials are investigating why a helicopter crashed in Westland National Park injuring three men.

The helicopter crashed on Poerua Glacier, north of Franz Josef, with the pilot and two hunters on board on Saturday morning.

The trio were rescued about midday, after emergency locator beacons were activated about 10.30am.

The hunters suffered minor injuries and were taken to Grey Base Hospital.

The pilot, reported to be 24-year-old Brad Maclachlan, was trapped in the cockpit and was flown to Christchurch Hospital.

He was in a serious but stable condition in intensive care, a hospital spokeswoman said on Monday.

The company, Scenic Flights, had said the problem happened at take-off, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre of New Zealand said.

But a spokesman for adventure tourism business said the helicopter was fine when it left the base.

"That's just something that seems to have ended up in some of these earlier reports," he said.

He said the Civil Aviation Authority had begun their investigation on Monday and the company could not comment on the cause of the accident yet.

Investigators would assess the wreckage and speak to witnesses, including the hunters who were on board and the pilot, once he has recovered from his injuries, a CAA spokesman said.

CAA hopes to give a further update on Thursday.

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