5 Oct 2015

Hero chopper pilot in court

5:26 pm on 5 October 2015

A helicopter pilot who saved a hunter in remote bush north of Kaikoura last year could face jail time for the rescue.

A helicopter flying in cloudy weather

Photo: AFP

Scott Lee fell down a bluff and the hunter was left dangling on a cliff edge with a broken femur. But bad weather meant the Westpac Rescue Helicopter could not locate him.

Local pilot Dave Armstrong stepped in and completed the rescue.

Mr Armstrong is now facing charges, because his license was suspended at the time due to a medical condition.

Kaikoura Search and Rescue alternate controller Mike Morrissey says if Mr Armstrong had not stepped in, the hunter could have died.

Mr Morrissey - a member of the rescue team - said the pair's situation was desperate.

"It was quite drizzly, foggy and cool, and if you're in that for any period of time, then shock can set in, or you could have internal bleeding as well."

Mr Morrissey said he had given a written statement to the Civil Aviation Authority about the situation in support of Mr Armstrong.

Mr Armstrong will appear in the Kaikoura District Court on 16 October.