Wreckage from the Hughes 500 which crashed in the Humboldt
Creek area of Fiordland 2004. Photo from NZ Police
Police have confirmed that helicopter wreckage spotted in
remote Fiordland is that of a Hughes 500 which went missing
eight years ago with two people on board.
Seven specialist police staff and two alpine cliff rescue
team members this morning flew into the Hollyford Valley in
Fiordland where the wreckage was discovered in the Humboldt
Creek area yesterday.
Police today confirmed it was the craft which disappeared in
2004 with pilot Campbell Montgomerie, 27, and 28-year-old
English tourist Hannah Rose Timings on board .
Police would use DNA to formally identify the pair.
On January 3, 2004, the helicopter was en route in difficult
weather conditions from Howden Hut to Milford Sound when it
lost radio contact with the Milford Radio Tower shortly
An extensive search and rescue operation was mounted the same
day throughout the Hollyford Valley.
The scenario-based search covered the various routes that the
helicopter might have taken from Lake Howden to Milford Sound
and included over 200 flying hours and 2500 people hours.
Police said that the wreckage was found at the extremities of
the original search area, which comprised "extraordinarily
difficult'' and complex terrain.
Inspector Olaf Jensen said the thoughts of police were with
the families and they hoped the discovery of the wreckage
brings them some closure.