Residents in Sydney’s northern beaches looked on in shock as the chopper made an emergency landing in Des Creagh Reserve, Avalon, this morning.
The pilot made a mayday call after the aircraft's engines began surging.
"It was going down so fast we were expecting some sort of fireball,” witness Andy Wigan said.
Passenger Nino Di Cuollo and his cousins were on the joy flight from Mascot to Palm Beach when the trouble struck.
"The pilot called out ‘brace, brace brace’ and I thought that’s it, we’re gone," Mr Di Cuollo told 9NEWS.
"The last two metres the helicopter just dropped and just hit the ground, it was some drop.
"We owe our lives to him [the pilot]."
"All passengers and crew are safe and we are thankful to the careful responsive actions of our well trained pilot in command who made the appropriate decision on the day," it said.
"Our passengers are being looked after and returned to Sydney by road.
"The company has an impeccable safety record over its ten year history, and dedicates significant resources to training and pilot education to enable safe management of situations such as today.
"No one was injured in the emergency landing and several emergency services and police officers attended the scene."
Firefighters have created an exclusion zone around the chopper, which remains in the reserve.
It is expected to be removed by a crane or large helicopter onto a flat bed truck.
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