Helicopter crash
Helicopter crash

Final moments of fatal helicopter crash revealed

A complex investigation into the final moments of a fatal helicopter crash has taken a new turn more than two years since the tragic incident.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) revealed it is in the final stages of reporting after investigators explored several avenues after a Eurocopter EC120B collided with the ocean near Hardy Reef.

Two Hawaiian tourists were killed in the incident when it crashed into waters near the landing pontoon on the afternoon of March 21, 2018.

Whitsundays helicopter crash victims Pete and Sue Hensel who died while on their honeymoon at Hardy Reef – Photo Supplied Copyright Unknown
Whitsundays helicopter crash victims Pete and Sue Hensel who died while on their honeymoon at Hardy Reef – Photo Supplied Copyright Unknown

The 35-year-old pilot and two remaining passengers, a 33-year-old man and 34-year-old woman from Colorado, escaped with non-life threatening injuries.

At the time of the incident, Mackay District Inspector Ian Haughton said the victims did not die on impact.

Government investigators have spent more than two years trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding the crash and revealed they were in the "drafting" phase of the final report last week.

The police boat after arriving back from the crash site at Hardy Reef on the Great Barrier Reef.
The police boat after arriving back from the crash site at Hardy Reef on the Great Barrier Reef.

A statement released on March 23 revealed there was an "uncommanded yaw to the left during the go-around" that was investigated.

Pilot experience, performance and handling and preparation of passengers were also investigated.

Once complete, the final report will undergo other technical and administrative reviews before being distributed to those directly involved.

Earlier investigations in August 2018 revealed the helicopter was potentially destroyed or washed away in currents after Cyclone Iris came through the area.

Personal belongings for one of the passengers was found washed up on a beach about the same time.

The findings of the report will be published after it is approved by those directly involved and the ATSB Commission.

Originally published as Final moments of fatal helicopter crash revealed



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