CQ pilot critical after fatal chopper crash
A MARLBOROUGH pilot is in a critical condition following a fatal helicopter crash that occurred in dense rainforest northwest of Cairns on Friday afternoon.
Tragically a 25-year-old Kewarra Beach man who was the passenger, believed to be a plumber contracted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and working in the Cape York area, was killed in the crash.
According to reports emergency services received an EPIRB distress call around 1.30pm from the Robinson R-44 helicopter in the Mt Windsor area, near Mt Carbine.
The 43-year-old pilot was found conscious near the aircraft wreckage around 2.30pm and was flown to Cairns Hospital in a critical condition after suffering extensive injuries in the crash.
The man remains in a critical condition.
Land and air searches of the Mt Carbine area were conducted by 50 rescue workers around 7am Saturday for the Kewarra Beach man whose body wasn't found until later that morning.
Far North Police District Duty Officer Senior Sergeant James Coate has described the search conditions and rainforest terrain as "extremely harsh, inhospitable, very difficult to get to”.
It's believed police spoke briefly to the Marlborough man but he was "very confused” and unable to give any conclusive information about the crash.
An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway and a report is being prepared for the Coroner.