Family members of the woman who died in a helicopter crash in
Fiordland in 2004 say from England they are relieved that
things have been resolved, after eight-years of uncertainty.
The remains of Waikato farmer and private pilot Campbell
Montgomerie (28) and Hannah Timings (28), of Gloucestershire,
England, were identified on Thursday after wreckage of the
helicopter they had been flying in on January 2004 was
discovered in Fiordland.
Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Southland, said the family of Ms
Timings had not yet indicated whether they would come to New
Ms Timing's sister Layla and her brother Sam organised an
investigation into the accident three years ago by private
investigator Gavin Grimmer. He spoke with the siblings in the
"They seem to be taking it OK, but they are very concerned
about their parents," Mr Grimmer said from the Hawkes Bay.
He said the Timings family felt some relief Hannah's remains
had been located.
"I'm quite sure that's what they wanted."
Ms Timing's sister, Layla, had contacted Mr Grimmer in
January 2009, five years after the pair went missing, and
requested he investigate for Hannah's family.
"She was still beside herself and it was a heart-wrenching
email, I couldn't say no.""I didn't think I would have a hope
in that one [of finding the helicopter]."
The couple were on their way to Milford Sound from the
Routeburn Track after spending the night in Howden Hut.
A newspaper near Ms Timings' home city of Toddington, the
Gloucestershire Echo, has also reported the incident,
revealing that Hannah Timings had previously worked as a
furniture buyer in London before touring New Zealand.
The story also told how the Timings family had to battle with
life insurers for a payout on their daughter's policy.
The remains have now been sent for forensic examination,
which could take weeks, Insp Jensen said.
"It is a process which won't happen overnight."
Mr Montgomerie's parents, Elizabeth and Ian, flew to Te Anau
from Auckland on Thursday night and were expected to leave
the southern town yesterday, Insp Jensen said.
They declined to comment to media.
Mr Grimmer described Wednesday's discovery by Glacier
Southern Lakes helicopter pilot Brendan Hiatt flying between
Milford Sound and Queenstown, as "incredible" and highly
unlikely, given the bush in the area was so dense and the
helicopter was dark green.
"I thought a tramper might trip over it eventually," Mr
"At least this time there will be an end to it ... and then
they can get on with their lives.
"Some of the other cases I've investigated have had to deal
with it all their lives and have taken it to their graves."
Mr Grimmer had been investigating the crash since 2009 and
based his findings around the radio transmitter contact at
the time of the accident.
Location of the crash site on Wednesday at Humboldt Creek
occurred 7km from where Mr Montgomerie had last been in
contact via radio and was north of where Mr Grimmer had
estimated the crash area was.
He said the crash would have taken place within one minute of
the last transmission and was likely caused by cloudy adverse
weather and the pilot's overconfidence.
Mr Montgomerie had more than 200 hours of experience in
aviation, but had flown just twice before in that area,
including with a group of friends just two weeks earlier.
Inspector Jensen said police would not be returning to the
wreckage site and had passed their findings on to the Civil
Aviation Authority and the coroner.
CAA corporate communications manager Mike Richards said a
crash investigation had begun and would involve examining
police reports and photos.
Mr Richards said the the delay in finding the wreckage could
hinder the investigation as the years of weathering would
leave less for analysis.
"Every accident is important to investigate for us ... It is
harder to investigate because, I hate to say it, the clues
are not as fresh," Mr Richards said.