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ABC News

Helicopter crashes into Mentone home in Melbourne's south-east, trapping pilot

A student pilot has escaped critical injury after becoming trapped in a helicopter which crashed into the roof of a house in Melbourne's south-east.

Emergency workers were called to free the 47-year-old Mount Martha man from the crash at the Mentone home shortly after 1pm.

Ambulance Victoria said the man was in a stable condition and was taken to the Alfred Hospital with lower-body injuries.

No one was in the house at the time of the crash and the pilot was the only person inside the small helicopter.

Aerial vision showed the pilot strapped to the board of a crane as he was lifted from the scene. 

Jesse van der Zypp, whose father operates The Helicopter Group (Aust), said the pilot was a student with the company and was undergoing a solo training flight from nearby Moorabbin Airport.

"A student goes off to the nav flight by themselves as part of their training for their licence," he said.

"They're given a route to follow.

"He was coming back."

Mr van der Zypp, who works for a different flight company, said the helicopter was a Hughes 300 model.

He said the pilot had been able to speak to his wife.

"I think he's alright so far," he said.

Fire Rescue Victoria said its crews arrived at the site within four minutes of receiving the triple-0 call.

'Pretty loud bang' as chopper crashed into roof

Police said Tylden Court and Broome Avenue were closed off while emergency workers attended the incident.

The last fatal crash near Moorabbin Airport was in 2018, when an aircraft crashed onto a suburban street.

Robert Merlo was sanding down the roof of his house as part of renovations when the helicopter crashed into his neighbour's home.

"It's like a movie, like a horror movie," Mr Merlo said.

He rushed over with another neighbour to speak with the pilot, who said he was communicative but trapped in the crash aircraft.

"We thought it was better to leave him there just in case he was really injured," he said.

"He said, 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I can't get out though.'"

Mr Merlo said despite living in the area for 40 years, it was the first time he had ever seen it happen.

He said he had fielded nonstop calls about the crash, and considered himself extremely lucky to avoid injury.

"Everyone says go and get a TattsLotto ticket," he said.

Mentone resident Matt Evans, who lives next door, said his partner and baby were home at the time.

"The helicopter came down from the air and crashed into next door — pretty loud bang apparently," he said.

Mr Evans said some of the tiles on the corner of his roof had also been damaged.

Transport authority investigating

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has launched an investigation into the Mentone crash and will publish a final report following interviews with the pilot and witnesses.

ATSB chief commissioner Angus Mitchell said the helicopter was reported to be performing a manoeuvre used in aborted landings when the crash occurred. 

"The helicopter was reported to have been conducting a missed approach (go-around) procedure from Moorabbin Airport when it collided with the roof of a house," Mr Mitchell said.

"As part of its investigation, the ATSB will interview the pilot and any witnesses, and obtain and review recorded data, weather information, aircraft information and maintenance records.

"However, should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken."

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