9 Nov 2012

Helicopter pilot killed in Cardrona Valley crash

7:56 pm on 9 November 2012

Investigators are having to be flown into the site of a fatal helicopter crash in rugged and remote terrain near Wanaka.

The Robinson R22 helicopter crashed in the Cardrona Valley about 8.40pm on Thursday.

The pilot was Julian Dean Kramer, 52, of Arrowtown, also known as Julianne Kramer.

Wanaka police search and rescue coordinator Sergeant Aaron Nicholson says the pilot and a friend had flown from Queenstown to Wanaka airport to pick up another light aircraft.

Both were returning to Queenstown through the Cardrona Valley, one flying the aircraft, the other the helicopter, when the crash occurred.

The friend arrived in Queenstown unaware of any incident involving the helicopter.

Sergeant Aaron Nicholson, of Wanaka, says Julian Kramer was was chief flight instructor for Wakatipu Aero Club and was well known and respected.

Ben Gordon, who farms Avalon Station in the Cardrona Valley, was asked to take emergency services to the scene on Thursday. He says he had a call from a neighbour to say that the helicopter had dropped out of the sky like a stone.

The body has been removed from the scene on Friday. The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the crash.