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One dead in Lindis Pass chopper crash

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/04/2016

Investigators are expected to travel to the scene of a fatal helicopter crash in Central Otago on Sunday.

A 32-year-old man died and a 51-year-old man was taken to Dunedin Hospital to be treated for head and chest injuries, police say.

Earlier, St John Ambulance said the injured man was in a critical condition.

The crash happened shortly before midday on Saturday.

The Otago Rescue Helicopter from Dunedin and a private helicopter located the scene in difficult weather conditions.

The Civil Aviation Authority is the lead investigator into the crash, a spokesman says.

The helicopter is a Robinson R22 model and the wreckage is about a kilometre from the Lindis Pass-Tarras Rd.

It was not finally decided, but investigators hoped to travel to the scene of the crash on Sunday morning, the spokesman said.

Police were still in charge of the scene on Saturday night.

In 2015 the CAA determined that additional safety awareness training would be required for pilots flying Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters.

There was a fatal R22 crash near Mt Aspiring in April 2011, and another one between Wanaka and Arrowtown in November 2012. There have also been fatal accidents involving other Robinson models.

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