Wanaka chopper company faces charges over fatal crash

Nick Wallis
Nick Wallis was killed in the October 2018 crash.
A Wanaka helicopter company will have to wait until at least October to defend two charges of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, laid by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Alpine Group Ltd has been charged in relation to a crash on October 18, 2018, which killed pilot Nick Wallis (38) and Department of Conservation employees Paul Hondelink (63) and Scott Theobold (59), both of Twizel.

Paul Hondelink
Paul Hondelink was a victim of the 2018 crash.
That crash came just three months after Nick Wallis’ brother and fellow pilot, Matthew (39) died in another helicopter crash.

The brothers were the two youngest sons of Sir Tim Wallis.

An interim report by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission into the October crash, published in December 2018, found a pair of over-trousers flew from the cabin of the Hughes 500 and became entangled in the tail rotor.

That caused the helicopter to crash shortly after taking off from Wanaka Airport.

Appearing by audiovisual link in the Queenstown District Court before Judge John Brandts-Giesen, the CAA sought for three weeks to be set aside for a judge-alone trial.

Scott Theobold was also killed in the crash.
Scott Theobold was also killed in the crash.
Judge John Brandts-Giesen, who recused himself from the case because of family associations, remanded the matter to a nominal date in September, advising the trial would not take place until after October and ‘‘closer to the end of the year’’.

Directors of The Alpine Group are Jonathan and Toby Wallis, along with Murray Valentine and Angus Wilson.



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