Australian Helicopter Crash: Surviving Pilot Doesn’t Recall Hearing Radio Signal | world news

A pilot told investigators he did not recall hearing another on the ground announce he was taking off before their helicopters collided and crashed – killing four people, including a British couple – in Australia, according to an interim report.

The two Sea World helicopters collided off the Gold Coast in January near the Queensland resort and theme park while performing scenic flights.

Diane and Ron Hughes, aged 57 and 65, from Neston, Cheshire, along with Vanessa Tadros, 36, from Sydney and second helicopter pilot Ashley Jenkinson, died in the accident.

Nine people were injured, including Ms Tadros’ 10-year-old son, who remains in hospital and had his right leg amputated from the knee last week.

A preliminary report from Australian The Transportation Safety Board said the surviving pilot, Michael James, saw passengers boarding the other helicopter as he prepared to leave – as he returned from his flight to a helipad adjacent to the park Sea World themed.

He did not see it take off and thought it would be clear of the plane and pass behind it.

Mr James told investigators he did not recall the other pilot making a standard taxi call to signal his intention to take off.

“This does not necessarily mean that a taxi call was not made and this matter will be the subject of detailed analysis by the ATSB investigation,” the report said.

Mr James also told investigators that when he came ashore he did not see the other helicopter leave.

Two of his passengers spotted the plane rising and warned him.

The helicopters collided at a height of around 130ft – 23 seconds after the second plane took off.

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Wreckage after mid-air helicopter collision

Learn more:
Helicopter crash survivors pay tribute to ‘hero’ pilot who landed on crashed plane
A surviving passenger filmed the moment of a fatal mid-air collision

Angus Mitchell, chief commissioner of the safety office, said the investigation into the collision would be ‘complex and comprehensive’ and would ‘closely examine any issues the two pilots may face when seeing the other helicopter “.

He said survivors and families of those killed “not only want to understand how the tragedy unfolded, but more importantly, why it happened. And why safety equipment, processes and procedures designed to prevent an accident like this work on this occasion?”

The safety office investigation is one of many ongoing into the collision and is expected to take at least another 18 months.


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