View Full Version : Two injured in Haast helicopter crash

11th Aug 2008, 02:16
Two people are injured after a helicopter crashed on the West Coast today.

Constable Mike Tinnelly of Greymouth police said emergency services were alerted to the crash at Maori Saddle hut in the Paringa Haast area, about 11.15am.
Two people of the four people on board suffered broken bones, while the other two escaped injury.
A rescue helicopter and rescue medic were both on their way to the scene, Mr Tinnelly said.
The Civil Aviation Authority was investigating.

11th Aug 2008, 02:36
hmmm dosn't sound to good at all, hope all recover quickly!!:eek: hopefully not coming in downwind:suspect:

11th Aug 2008, 04:55
Four survive Westland helicopter crash
Monday, 11 August 2008

A pilot and three Department of Conservation workers, all men, survived the crash of a helicopter in South Westland today - but two were flown to hospital with injured legs.

The Hughes 369 went down in thick bush near Maori Saddle on the historic Haast-Paringa cattle track about 11am.

Steve Batchelor, who piloted a Solid Energy rescue helicopter to the scene from Greymouth, said the Hughes did not burn.

"But it was badly broken up after smashing through the forest canopy to the ground."

No one could say tonight what caused the crash.

The downed aircraft was carrying the DOC staff into the area for maintenance work on the track -- built in 1875 by pioneer farmers in 1875 to drive cattle to Whataroa, a two-week trek.

Mr Batchelor said someone on the helicopter apparently used a cellphone to call for help.

The pilot suffered a broken leg and was flown to hospital in Greymouth for treatment.

According to DOC Hokitika spokesman Ian Gill, two of the DOC workers escaped uninjured but the third suffered a suspected broken leg and was flown out by a backup rescue helicopter from Fox Glacier.

Names of the four men were not available tonight and neither was the name of the company operating the helicopter.

The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating.


11th Aug 2008, 05:19
Anyone know who the operator is, as apart from Dave Saxton down that way there is also James Scott who has some 500s as well.


11th Aug 2008, 07:03
It was the Saxton's 500 and Dave Jelly was the pilot, hit a tree/bush on landing is the rumour.....

The DOC in this country have some strange standards, after helping to convict the Saxtons, to then turn around and use them for commercial work only a month after released from prison!

11th Aug 2008, 07:17
Sorry to hear that. They have had some rough times lately. Hope their luck turns around now.


11th Aug 2008, 08:01
gafa1 wrote:
hmmm dosn't sound to good at all, hope all recover quickly!!:eek: hopefully not coming in downwind:suspect:

WTF!!!! been reading a book on how to fly helicopters or something???
bugger off mate and go back to selling used cars or what ever it is that you do.

11th Aug 2008, 08:16
Hi, whack Job, gafa1 may be having a bit of a tounge in cheek comment there about down wind arrivals, in regards to another recent local 500 accident....

11th Aug 2008, 10:35
yep you are right david. also in regards to another inccident a while ago now, won't say any more than that as ol whacky might bite my head off!! and yeah just read the book whacky, very few words and had pics so i could understand it, i now know the 10 ways to fly, do you want me to mail it to you?
and thats enough off, and get back to the subject!! i know he was lucky to to be alive so thats a great thing!!:ok:

11th Aug 2008, 11:45
D_in_NZ Let me assure you that there is a big difference between DOC Head Office and the local conservancies; and not always for the better.

DOC HQ had no regard for the flying competency of Saxton Snr or Jnr in regard to the pounamu theft prosecution.

But, on the otherside of the coin! Local DOC staff in various conservancies have made some appalling decisions over the years in regard to helo ops. Like contracting guys who didn't have an ATL through to guys who made incredibly bad flying decisions e.g. crash into the crater lake of Mount Ruapehu.


11th Aug 2008, 23:29
There are DOC conservancies throughout New Zealand that still go for the operator with the sharper price. Never mind the sloppy link between the collective and cyclic! Money does the talking.... I am afraid that it will be a crash that has 3 DOC staff dead and families asking the Conservation Minister for answers that finally drags DOC out of the 80ís.
Ponder this...
1 - CAA are a government agency that demand the highest standards from helicopter operators.
2 - DOC are a government agency that generally donít give a hoot about standards as long as the helicopter gets the job done and within their miniscule budget.

Perhaps the Transport Minister needs to have a wee chat to the Conservation Minister.

I hope this is the last 500 bent in the deep south for a while...

11th Aug 2008, 23:37
ok so i've taken a deep breath and can now see the joke.

Big Foot
12th Aug 2008, 00:57
That wouldnt be the same guy that turned an r22 into scrap on Haast beach whilst doing scenic flights a few years back would it ? Surely not.

12th Aug 2008, 01:30
Sadley yes.... Big foot,

And RCJ you are so on the money!

12th Aug 2008, 04:20

Might have been nice, as a sign of respect...even a small token of it to maybe have considered leaving the guys name out of it. What does that achieve?

Just glad me mate is ok.

12th Aug 2008, 04:39
Registration: ZK-HPR Nature of Flight: PRIVATE OTHER
Aircraft Model: Robinson R22 Beta Pilot Licence: CPL (Helicopter)
Date and Time: 17 Dec 05 at 20:30 Pilot Age: 37 yrs
Location: Mussel Point Flying Hours (Total): 850
POB: 2 Flying Hours (on Type): 700
Injuries (Fatal): nil Last 90 Days: 207
Injuries (Serious): nil TAIC Ref.: 05-011
Injuries (Minor): 2 Publishing Ref.: Vector Sep/Oct 06
Damage: Destroyed Date Published: 15 Sep 06


The pilot was carrying out joyrides along the beach from a local community gala, when it was seen to climb, turn, and dive into the beach.

Main Sources of Information: Accident details submitted by pilot plus further enquiries by CAA

12th Aug 2008, 04:45
Good point Hughesy and taken on board.

Q's for all though. Is naming pilots on here, informative or disrespectful. Peoples opinions please.

12th Aug 2008, 05:45
West Coast news on Stuff.co.nz (http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4652002a6013.html)

The helicopter which crashed in thick bush on the West Coast yesterday injuring two people belonged to the family of convicted greenstone thieves David and Morgan Saxton.

The Hughes 369, owned by Haast-based Heliventures, went down near the Maori Saddle hut on the historic Haast Paringa cattle track about 11am.

The pilot and one of the three Department of Conservation passengers suffered broken legs in the crash and are recovering in Grey Base Hospital.

Heliventures is owned by the Saxton family and operated by convicted pounamu thieves father and son David and Morgan Saxton.

The pair were recently released from serving a 2-1/2-year prison sentence pending their appeal against conviction.

They were found guilty of stealing Ngai Tahu pounamu worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from South Westland's Cascade Plateau.

Neither was on board yesterday.

The helicopter was carrying the DOC workers to a remote site to carry out repairs to the cattle track.

Police incident controller, Constable Mike Tinnelly, said Civil Aviation Authority inspectors were en route this morning to the site, southeast of Lake Moeraki.

"I was told by crew members that damage to the helicopter was pretty severe. It will stay where it is until the CAA are happy and have finished their investigations into the cause of the crash.''

Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter pilot Steve Batchelor, who flew into the site to collect the injured pilot, Dave Jellie, said the machine appeared to have been severely damaged.

It looks as though they have come in to land and something has gone wrong.

Batchelor said the two passengers who were unhurt pulled the two injured men clear of the wreckage and one went to get help.

A Heliventures spokeswoman said she was unaware of the state of the smashed helicopter.

"However, we are very grateful and fortunate that we aren't dealing with anything more serious than a broken leg.''

She said Mr Jellie had received the most severe injuries and was due to get his broken leg pinned today.

"He is in very good spirits despite his injury.''A helicopter crash in remote South Westland bush has left two people with broken legs.


Gas Producer
12th Aug 2008, 12:38
I'm not certain there's a lot of value to be added by naming pilots in circumstances like these.

There is a private message facility for those of us concerned about colleagues/friends known to us.

If some unfortunate event happened while I had a cyclic in my right hand I would like to think industry colleagues, known or otherwise, would afford me the same privacy / discretion / anonimity I would afford them in reverse circumstances.

Whether aircraft failure or pilot error, I'm sure this kind of experience for any pilot is bad enough without any subsequent discussion, prolonged or otherwise.

I note, however, the stuff.co.nz news article that Te_Kahu found seems to name everybody remotely associated with the events of the day.

Once something is in the papers / news websites it can't be unwritten. It's out there for everybody then . . .


12th Aug 2008, 20:47
Pilot still wasn't named in the papers. So no need for the blood thirsty parasites that work in the news/media to get that information. They DO lurk here, usually some newbie poster digging for info on a prang.

david_in_nz. No offense meant. Cheers mate! :ok:

13th Aug 2008, 07:10
pilot was named in yesterdays Auckland Herald !

17th Aug 2008, 02:57
Pilot was named on here before the hearld....maybe tad unfair.

Also Turkey32 what are these safety issues/concerns you are talking about?
The gu who conducts the checks on the line pilots there wouldn't let a cowboy through the system.

17th Aug 2008, 09:36
Hughesy, what people do in there line check rides can be quite different from the way they conduct there day to day flying. You see it all over the world, guys do all the right things for the flight examiner then promptly drop him off and tear off like an idiot. This happens a lot.

RCJ, Telling the CAA about certain concerns you may have or making an incident report, in my experience with them is a waste of a postage stamp.

17th Aug 2008, 18:06
Hughesy -In all fairness, I will not elaborate the other safety concerns on this guy on here. As for the flight testing officer, it has absolutelty nothing to do with it. Any examiner can conduct a flight competency check on a pilot but that does not neccessarily mean that he/she is flying safely when they are not around. That is worldwide. No doubt you have experienced this yourself by now. Its the examiners responsibility to examine the recipent to the standards on that day.

18th Aug 2008, 07:29
Get all nervous when being checked out like me and fly like crap!! Then they look at you sideways :}

28th Aug 2008, 10:18
Go Downwind Dave:D:ugh:

29th Aug 2008, 11:22
lowlevelhellGo Downwind Dave:D:ugh:

29th Aug 2008, 23:30
I have been to the accident site, and there is only one way in and out.
So in place like that then sometimes the only way in and out would be downwind. Now before I get my head bitten off obviously landing/departing into wind is ideal, but it is not always possible. With planning and a careful downwind approach eg flat approach with minimal ROD, bringing power in early and having airspeed/groundspeed under control (decision points on which to go around) then it very easy to achieve a safe approach under these conditions. Not everyone fly's from A-B with a nice airport to approach too.
How about we let the investigators figure out what happened before more stones are thrown i.e glasshouse's.

29th Aug 2008, 23:48
Flying approaches/ takeoffs with the wind up your butt...joys of commercial flying

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