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Helicopter comes down on Uretiti Beach

Matakana Coast App

19 May 2024, 4:13 AM

Helicopter comes down on Uretiti Beach

A home-built kit helicopter experienced a "rough landing" on Uretiti Beach in Northland, but its two occupants narrowly escaped serious harm, according to police reports.


The incident occurred around 12:15 pm on Sunday, prompting emergency response from authorities. Despite the helicopter's forced descent and subsequent rough landing, the pilot and passenger sustained only minor injuries, as confirmed by a firefighter and St John's personnel on the scene. Remarkably, witnesses and emergency responders expressed astonishment at the occupants' ability to walk away from the crash relatively unscathed.



The helicopter involved is identified as a Safari model, part of the home-built kit manufactured by Canadian Home Rotors, and is reportedly owned by a local Northland resident. Eyewitnesses, including bystanders who rushed to the scene in four-wheel drives, recounted seeing the aircraft flying low over the beach prior to the incident. However, there were no audible signs of trouble before the helicopter came down.


Despite favorable weather conditions with good visibility and a southward breeze, remnants of the helicopter's tail rotor, which struck a dune during the descent, were visible on the beach.


The crash site is located approximately 1 kilometer north of Tip Rd, Waipu. Authorities have notified the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) and the Civil Aviation Authority for further investigation and coordination.