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4 Killed After Helicopters Collide in Sydney Australia

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Helicopters Collide in Sydney Australia

The four people killed in the collision of two helicopters over the waterfront in Sydney Australia have been identified as a pilot, two British visitors, and a Sydney woman.

Authorities say it’s a good thing the death toll in the crash of two Sea World Helicopters planes wasn’t higher. Despite the aircraft being damaged in the collision Monday afternoon near Main Beach on Australia’s Gold Coast, the pilot of the second helicopter managed to land safely on a sandy outcrop.

“Considering the damage done to the front left-hand section of the helicopter, where the pilot was sitting, that has been a remarkable achievement,” said Angus Mitchell, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, whose office is investigating the crash.

“While it is tragic that four people have died and many people are mourning this morning, we could have had a far worse situation here and the fact that one helicopter managed to land is quite remarkable.”

Helicopters Collide in Sydney Australia

Ashley Jenkinson, the pilot who died, had been a chief pilot at Sea World Helicopters since 2019, and friends praised his mentorship and assistance during last year’s catastrophic floods in the New South Wales town of Ballina. According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, he was 40 years old and had become a father in September.

When his helicopter collided with the second Sea World Helicopter attempting to land, it had been in the air for less than 20 seconds.

Mitchell stated that the aircraft’s main rotor blade made contact with the front cockpit of the descending helicopter.

“That has resulted in the main rotor and gearbox separating from that helicopter, which has tragically resulted in it having no lift and falling heavily to the ground,” he explained.

Investigators remained at the crash site, but a rising sea tide made collecting evidence from the scene more difficult.

Investigators wanted to know what was going on in the “cockpits at the time” of the collision, according to Mitchell.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it is assisting the family of the deceased 57-year-old British woman and 65-year-old British man who were on vacation in Australia’s Queensland state.

Helicopters Collide in Sydney Australia

The other passenger who died was a 36-year-old woman from Glenmore Park, a Sydney suburb.

Three passengers from the flight remain hospitalized: a 10-year-old boy from Glenmore Park who is in critical condition, a 33-year-old woman from Geelong who is also in critical condition, and a 9-year-old boy from Victoria state who is in stable condition.

Two couples in their 40s from New Zealand and a 27-year-old woman from Western Australia were among the passengers on the helicopter that landed safely. After being showered in glass, three of the five passengers remain hospitalized.

When the crash occurred near the Sea World marine park during Australia’s peak summer holiday period, holiday visitors and people enjoying the water rushed to assist emergency service workers.

Authorities praised members of the public who rushed to the helicopters’ aid.

“Our hearts go out to all those who were affected here, not only those on the helicopter and their extended families, but also those who were on the broadwater yesterday and witnessed the confronting scenes of those helicopters coming down, especially those who were first responders,” Mitchell said.

In a statement, Village Roadshow Theme Parks, which owns Sea World Helicopters, said it was cooperating with authorities and “extending its heartfelt condolences to those affected” by the tragedy.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also expressed his “deepest condolences to those in grief.”

“The news of the terrible and tragic helicopter incident… on the Gold Coast has shocked Australia,” he wrote on social media.

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