Heli wreckage salvaged from Fox Glacier crash

A mountaineer prepares helicopter wreckage for lifting from Fox Glacier yesterday (supplied)
A mountaineer prepares helicopter wreckage for lifting from Fox Glacier yesterday (supplied)

More wreckage from a helicopter crash on Fox Glacier last year that killed all seven on board has been salvaged.

The Squirrel helicopter, on a tourist flight at the time, crashed into a crevassed area in November, and an inquiry into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

A five-strong investigation team conducted the initial scene examination at Fox Glacier at the time of the accident. 

A substantial amount of wreckage was recovered then but some parts were either buried under snow or had landed down inaccessible crevasses. 

Other parts were buried when a glacial ice wall collapsed.   The wreckage recovered yesterday included belly panels, some seats, and also fragmented parts of the helicopter.

Chief investigator of accidents captain Tim Burfoot said the warmer temperatures over summer had resulted in a greater than usual snow and ice melt.

"As a result, several items of wreckage that had previously been hidden or considered too unsafe to recover had become more accessible," he says.

"We always aim to recover as much wreckage as possible and practicable, without endangering those involved and I am happy to say the recovery yesterday was successful."

The items are being sent to the Commission's technical facility in Wellington for further examination.

The inquiry is currently expected to be completed no earlier than May 2017.

READ MORE: Wreckage recovered from Fox Glacier

Weather continues to hamper Fox Glacier recovery

Fox Glacier recovery teams remain on standby

Helicopter crash at Fox Glacier