Crashed chopper to be checked in Christchurch

Graham Stott
Graham Stott
The wreck of the helicopter involved in last Wednesday's fatal accident near Bow Peak in the Mt Aspiring National Park has been transported from Wanaka to Christchurch for secure storage.

The Robinson 22 helicopter has been in the custody of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission since the weekend and is a key piece of evidence in determining what happened to the machine and the deceased pilots Graham Stott (31), of Wanaka, and Marcus Hoogvliet (21), of Queenstown.

Chief inspector Tim Burfoot said yesterday a Christchurch-based inspector would be trying to establish whether the helicopter was intact when it hit the ground or suffered an inflight failure.

"The investigator will be doing some very close examination of specific components," Mr Burfoot said.

Mr Burfoot said the Robinson Helicopter Company had been informed of the accident and a representative may also come to Christchurch to inspect the helicopter.

It was too soon to make any safety recommendations, Mr Burfoot said.

Mr Hoogvliet, an electrician and trainee commercial pilot, was farewelled by family and friends at a funeral in Queenstown on Sunday. A funeral for Mr Stott, a Wanaka Helicopters flight instructor, will be held in Dunedin tomorrow.



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