Man and woman from northern Sydney dead in NSW Snowy Mountains helicopter crash, investigators on scene
Investigators are trying to piece together the movements of a helicopter that crashed in the NSW Snowy Mountains on Monday evening, killing a 75-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman.
- A helicopter has crashed in the NSW Snowy Mountains
- The helicopter’s two occupants — a 64-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man — died at the scene
- Investigations continue into the cause of the crash
Emergency services found the wreckage at 11.55pm, about 200 metres east of the Snowy Mountains Highway at Kiandra Flats. The pilot and passenger died at the scene.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief commissioner Angus Mitchell said the movements of the privately owned Bell 206 Longranger 24 hours prior to the incident were unknown, except that it was last seen travelling with a group of helicopters on Sunday.
“We have reports that the helicopter was down around that area on Sunday afternoon but what’s happened since we don’t know,” he said.
“We are certainly reaching out to the other parties in the company to try to build a [better] picture.”
Monaro Police District’s Commander, Superintendent John Klepczarek, said it appeared the helicopter “had come down quite heavily”.
“This is a tough job but we will bind together to find out what actually happened.”
The operator of a nearby fly fishing business Angus Reynolds said the area was known for “very erratic” conditions.
“It can be forecast to be one thing and then be the total opposite. You can get snowstorms in January, November,” he said.
A report will be prepared for the coroner and a team of ATSB specialists from Melbourne and Canberra will assist in the investigation on the ground.
Multiple recent crashes
The incident comes weeks after a helicopter crash in the NSW Snowy Mountains, where the aircraft was forced to make an emergency heavy landing in the Snowy River near Guthega Power Station.
All five people on board, including four National Park and Wildlife Service staff and a commercial pilot, survived the accident and an investigation is ongoing.
Last week a helicopter crash at Victoria’s Mount Disappointment claimed the lives of five people after one of two helicopters flying north from Melbourne’s CBD for a business trip disappeared.
Police said trouble had struck just after 9am as the two helicopters made their way over Mount Disappointment, a peak about 60 kilometres north of Melbourne that sits at the southern end of the Great Dividing Range.
Mr Mitchell said they are all among several fatal aircraft incidents across Australia in the past couple of months.
“So, we certainly will have our work cut out for us.”
A preliminary report regarding this latest incident near Kiandra Flats is expected to be finalised by the ATSB in six to eight weeks’ time.