A HELICOPTER pilot is lucky to be alive after engine failure forced him to crash-land while mustering cattle on a remote property 300km east of Borroloola on Monday evening.
The man, who escaped with back pain and facial cuts after his chopper plunged 30 metres, told medical personnel that the engine on his R22 helicopter quit during mustering operations on the isolated station.
He was flown by CareFlight to the Royal Darwin Hospital Trauma Centre for assessment, where he remains in a stable condition.
The injured man received initial treatment from staff from the Borroloola Health Clinic, who drove out to reach him, before contacting CareFlight, which sent an aeromedical plane to the McArthur River airfield overnight.
The damaged R22 helicopter, which was brand new, is believed to be a write-off.