18 February 2009
A helicopter pilot had a lucky escape when his helicopter crashed in a paddock at Waikeria Prison near Te Awamutu this morning.
Te Awamutu Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Dave Simes, said the pilot of the small helicopter, a Hiller UH12E, was weed spraying about 8.15am when he noticed a problem with his engine.
"He's done a loop to come into land in a paddock next to the prison's administration block when part of his spraying equipment has made contact with a water trough causing the aircraft to flip.
"While the damage to the aircraft appears significant, due to the low altitude and reduced speed the pilot escaped unscathed," said Mr Simes.
Police and ambulance staff were called to the scene however the pilot did not require medical attention.
"Our officers secured the crash scene in conjunction with Corrections staff prior to the arrival of Civil Aviation crash investigators who have arrived at the scene," said Mr Simes.
Note for media; I am currently on leave, the appropriate point of contact for further information would be the CAA.