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VIDEO: Helicopter crash captured by TV crew

Miracle as veteran pilot managed to survive incident in New Zealand.

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The routine installation of a seven-storey Christmas tree in Auckland ended in disaster yesterday, when a helicopter used to assist the operation crashed. Video footage of the incident was captured by Television New Zealand, showing experienced pilot Greg Gribble slowly descending from about 25 feet on Auckland's waterfront when the chopper's blades appear to get caught in cables attached to scaffolding.

The rear of the helicopter snaps and the pilot is hurled about as the helicopter smashes into the ground. However, Gribble – who has 20 years of experience – managed to survive the ordeal and is currently recovering in hospital with minor to moderate injuries. An investigation has now been launched by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with spokesman Emma Peel telling NZ Newswire that the crash footage would be of 'considerable assistance' to understanding what happened.

“The footage will likely become a big part of the investigation. It's one of those rare but very useful things that does happen from time to time,” she said.

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